On Feb.13th, an article from Wall Street Journal surprised the auto industry by announcing that Apple is going to build an in-house, all-electric car to compete with Tesla models. However, an additional bonus in the Apple made car over the Tesla model is that it will be completely autonomous. To further confirm this recent development, an article in Reuters, published on Feb. 14th, confirms that this indeed is happening inside the vast walls of Apple’s headquarters in California.
According to the article from Reuters, Apple is currently gathering information and experts on car building and self-driving technology. The Reuters article also repeats the information from the Wall Street Journal stating that the new all-electric vehicle is designed to compete with the models from Tesla. An unknown insider told Reuters that “It’s a software game. It’s all about autonomous driving.” Based on current trends, there is no doubt that self-driving technology will be a big thing in the near future and there is a lot of money to be made with in this rapidly expanding sector in technology.
A self-driving operating system requires a lot of high-definition mapping, and it is reported that Apple’s all-electric car will be requiring a bespoke software to make this concept into a tangible reality. It also should be noted that Google, Apple’s biggest competitor, has been exploring with autonomous vehicles for more than a year.
Apple is planning on entering the self-driving car market in the same way it entered into the smartphone and digital music industries by creating both software and hardware in-house, instead of pursuing partnerships with existing suppliers. A source from Reuters stated that “they (Apple) don’t appear to want a lot of help from carmakers.”
Interestingly, in September of 2014, Apple hired Johann Jungwirth, a former head of research and development at Mercedes-Benz. During his five-year stay at Mercedes-Benz, he was responsible for autonomous driving, connected car tech, and electric-vehicle powertrain research.
Apple has named its all-electric and autonomous car endeavor “Project Titan” and it is being led by Apple’s product design VP, Steve Zadesky, who previously was an engineer at Ford. This project has a potential to poach a lot of experts and engineers throughout the auto industry and recently, Zadesky has been approved to create a team consisting of up to 1000 people.
Stay tuned and we will keep you updated as we find more information regarding Apple’s new venture into all-electric and self-driving vehicles.
Information sourced from Reuters and Wall Street Journal.