Apple’s electric-car project speeds ahead

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple’s Electric Car Could Ship By 2019.

Apple has set an ambitious ship date for its electric car: The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is revving things up to deliver a car by 2019, and has the green light to triple its 600-person team.

Though Apple is conducting research on fully autonomous vehicles, its first release will be an electric car—not a self-driving car, as previously rumored. Officials at an automotive testing facility located east of San Francisco have also confirmed that Apple requested information about using their site. Another complication is how the cars would be sold; Apple is a centralized company whose preferred method of distribution is through direct sales and the Apple Store.

In the U.S., however, a network of private auto dealerships has cropped up over the past century, stirring up legal issues for automakers who preferred direct sales. Although Apple has recently hired a team of experts to work on driverless technology, met with the DMV to review autonomous vehicle regulations and scoped out testing facilities, the WSJ report claims that Apple’s first electric car won’t be fully autonomous by 2019.

Apple could potentially align itself with Tesla—now a competitor—or opt to to sell its cars through the conventional route and relinquish some control over its brand and pricing. Last week, talk show host Stephen Colbert asked Cook about Apple building a driverless car. ”We look at a number of things along the way, and we decide to really put our energies into a few of those,” Cook replied.

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