AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Report: Is Apple developing its own electric vehicle?

Report: Is Apple developing its own electric vehicle? image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Apple Insider | posted February 16, 2015 07:16

Has about 1000 engineers working on EV project

Your iPhone may have a ‘big’ brother soon... and it’s got four wheels on it. 

Just a week after being valued at $700 billion, the most the stock market has ever seen and almost double than the number two listed company, there are reports going around that Apple is working on a vehicle that will run on batteries and will resemble a minivan.  This is according to unnamed sources from inside the company.

It is not such a farfetched idea that Apple, a company known for pushing the boundaries on technology and building products that excite the market, will take on the challenge of building a vehicle from scratch and yet integrate in to it the latest innovations in connectivity and mobility.

Several signs lend some truth to these reports.  Steve Zadesky, formerly an engineer at Ford Motor Company, now works for Apple as Vice President for Product Design and is said to be heading the vehicle project called Titan.  Another former motoring executive with Mercedes-Benz, Johann Jungwirth is also now with Apple along with Ford 021C designer Marc Newson.   Most recently executives from Apple met with high-end vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria increasing the hype surrounding this rumor even further.

Perhaps one of the most telling signs is the poaching of employees from electric car manufacturer Tesla by Apple with signing bonuses of up to $250,000 and a 60% pay hike, this according to Tesla founder Elon Musk.

Insiders familiar with the situation have said that Apple has authorized Zadesky to hire 1,000 people and have them work on nothing but research on automotive technology including robotics.

As the company gears up for the release of the Apple Watch, the integration of CarPlay with other automobiles and just the day-to-day of the biggest tech company in the world, we may not see the Apple Car or iCar any time soon.

For now, we can only speculate on the new technologies Apple may incorporate in it.  Will it run purely on batteries?  Is it fully automated and responsive to voice commands?  Can you control it with you iPhone?

With the way Apple has been constantly changing the way we handle information, it sure will be interesting to see how they will change the way we get around.