Sources say Apple car on the way in 2019

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple electric car: After Google, now Apple moving forward on building a car.

Apple Inc has designated building an electric car as a “committed project” and has set a target shipping date for 2019, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.The Journal report, which cited unnamed sources, came amid persistent rumours that Apple is secretly working to put its iconic brand on a high-tech automobile.

Apple electric car: A new report says Apple is speeding up work on a project that could lead to the California tech giant building its own electric car. The project has been code-named Titan and its leaders have been given permission to triple the 600-person team, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the matter.

While Apple is rumoured to be interested in making computerised cars that can drive themselves, the first version will require motorists to be in control, the Journal reported. While Apple has never officially confirmed it’s planning to build a car, there are strong indications it’s at least interested in automotive technology.

Apple spent more than a year investigating the feasibility of an Apple-branded car, including meeting with two groups of government officials in California, according to the Journal. The end of the decade could be an optimistic target, and Apple might wind up taking a bit longer or even partnering with an traditional auto maker on the project, according to reports. Sources told Reuters in August that Apple was developing a car and studying self-driving technology, but it was unclear if the iPhone maker was designing a vehicle that could drive itself. Apple has been hiring talent away from electric car maker Tesla to boost its Titan effort, an AppleInsider website devoted to news about the company said in a story last week.

Officials at an automotive testing facility located east of San Francisco have also confirmed that Apple requested information about using their site. Apple has hired this year Megan McClain, a former Volkswagen AG engineer with expertise in automated driving, and Vinay Palakkode, a graduate researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, a hub of automated driving research.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on Friday said that it met with Apple to discuss rules of the road regarding testing self-driving cars. Toyota early this month announced plans to invest US$50 million (RM213 million) into building artificial intelligence into cars, an indication it could be joining the race to develop driverless vehicles.

The joint research with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will take place over the next five years, Toyota Motor Corporation said. While the Japanese automobile giant did not mention making cars that drive themselves, it did promise work on “intelligent vehicle technology.” – AFP Analysts say Apple has the financial resources and ambition to design and build a high-end vehicle, although some believe it’s more likely interested in developing software for use in cars made by other companies. “We believe the auto industry represents a significant opportunity for Apple, but we also expect Apple to be deliberate as always in its product development and testing,” said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in a September 1 report.

According to Reuters, Apple was particular interested in BMW’s i3 electric car, especially the manufacturing process of the vehicle’s carbon fibre body.

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