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It isn’t clear whether an “Apple Car” is actually coming. But if or when it does, the Apple Car may actually end up being a van.
That’s right. Apple has reportedly designed its own self-driving electric van, sources familiar with the vehicle’s development told German outlet Manager Magazin. While loosley translated from German, the report has a few notable tidbits.
For one, Manager Magazin reports that Apple has made prototypes of the van in a black and silver color scheme and with a design that’s consistent with the firm’s other products.
Additionally, the German publication notes that the Cupertino tech giant is currently researching its own “batteries, electric motors, special seats and interior components.”
In any case, it’s an interesting development for a project whose ultimate goal has been relatively unclear over the past few years.
Originally, Apple’s so-called Project Titan was reported to be focused on the development of an actual, physical Apple Car. After a series of road bumps, the project apparently shifted to developing autonomous systems that would power a self-driving car.
On the other hand, Project Titan has seen its share of ups and downs. Apple has made some high-profile hires related to the company and its autonomous vehicle test fleet is one of the largest in California. But Project Titan has also been beset by staff layoffs and corporate espionage.
And, still, no one is quite sure what Apple is working on exactly. It could be a self-driving “carOS” system, or it could be an actual car.
It is possible that Apple Vans, specifically, are being developed for internal usage — at least initially. In other words, Apple may be working on first-party, self-driving shuttle or mapping vehicles.
Back in May 2018, The New York Times reported that Apple signed a deal to use self-driving Volkswagen vans as employee shuttles in the Bay Area. And the company already uses a fleet of vans to collect data for Apple Maps (though the mapping vehicles aren’t autonomous).
Whether or not an Apple Car (or Van) is coming, well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says we shouldn’t expect it to hit the road until 2023 to 2025.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]