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This past weekend produced much online speculation that Apple may be, in fact, looking to design and build a car from the ground up. The project, called ‘Titan,’ is rumored to have been approved a year ago, and is being reported by sources such as the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Wired. The rumors are certainly just those – rumors, at this point. However, further research suggests that there could be some truth to these speculations.
An article published Friday by the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has assigned several hundred employees to the development of an electric automobile, codenamed ‘Titan.’ The Financial Times then reported that Apple is currently “recruiting experts in automotive technology and vehicle design to work at a new top-secret research lab.” Wired and Reuters then ran with the story, the latter claiming that Apple’s car will be self-driving, according to “an anonymous source close to the project.”
While all this may seem a bit far-fetched at first, consider these facts: Apple currently employs 46 people who are former Tesla employees, and there are rumors abound that Apple is recruiting more members of the company. Apple also employs a host of people with experience in the automotive industry, including former Ford engineer Steve Zadesky and Johann Jungwirth, former president and CEO of the Mercedes Benz Research and Development team. We reported weeks ago about Apple-owned minivans equipped with cameras and LIDAR sensors prowling the streets of California and New York. All indications point to the idea that these vans are working on mapping technology (with the hopes of introducing a ‘Street View’-like feature to Apple Maps), many people believe that they indicate that Apple is working on a self-driving vehicle.
All these rumors are very exciting, but there’s little evidence to allow anyone to jump to any conclusions just yet. There is a possibility that Apple’s new hires and research may simply be to enhance future CarPlay experiences. Nothing is for certain yet, but be sure to stay tuned to iDropNews.com for the latest in Apple news and info.
Read about what former GM, Dan Akerson, CEO thinks about Apple entering the car business.