Apple’s iCar Officially Named Project Titan
Apple is a company with a lot of secrets and its rumoured iCar is officially named Project Titan. The Cupertino tech giant intends to enter the electric vehicle market and is probably moving ahead. As per reports by Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine, Apple plans to set up a dedicated `car lab’ in Berlin. The facility is said to be intended to tap into key talent from the automotive industry in the country, employing between 15 to 20 top class men as well as women from the German automotive industry having backgrounds in engineering, software, hardware and sales.
The workers at the car lab have been described as progressive thinkers in their own respective fields who have agreed to work with Apple after their ideas for invention were subdued by the more conservative outlooks of their earlier employers.
The labisalso exploring more routine characteristics of bringing a car to market such as who would partner with Apple in the country, a fact which could impact Europe-wide production or distribution that regulation would require to be followed as well as evaluating how far ahead the competitors are.It remains a mystery as to what the iCar would really be an autonomous vehicle to compete Google or something in between.
Branded Vehicle to Hit the Road of Germany – 2019 -2020
The Frankfurter Allgemeine had also claimed that an Apple branded vehicle could hit the roads of Germany in 2019-2020. Sources claim that it could be a small vehicle and launch on a car sharing model identical to service like Zipcar which would involve short-term rental or per minute billing instead of customers buying iCar out-right. Considering the price premium of most of the products of Apple, this could be a blessing to the consumers while also enabling Apple to test demand before a wider release.
Interestingly, automotive manufacturer Magna International has been named as a production partner. Parts-maker owned by Austrian-Canadian businessman Frank Stronach has apparently cut production on the Mini range of BMW, enabling capacity for hypothetical car of Apple. The launch window of 2019 repeats the earlier reports that Apple intends getting a vehicle on the road before the decade is out.
Last autumn, Apple seemed to be hiring specialist in the vehicle industry and as reported by Reuters at the time, significant figures comprising of Jamie Carnegie Mellon University and Xianquao Tong, who came from Nvidia after creating computer vision software for driver assistance systems.
Technology in Development Stage
The article goes on to recap the earlier speculation regarding the rumoured vehicle research of Apple, observing that the first car of the company will be electric though also claims that it would be lacking self-driving abilities since the required technology seems to be yet in the development stage. Besides this the report claims that Apple is investigating a vehicle sharing model alike to BMW’s Drive-Now and European car rental service Sixt, due to the lack of a nationwide distribution network of the company.
Related to the earlier rumours, Austrian contract manufacturer of high-end cars Magna Steyr has also been mentioned as a partner for vehicle creation on completion of the R&D. The bulk of research and development is presumed to be taking place in an Apple leased Sunnyvale campus in California, where motor noises were heard, giving rise to speculation that the building is a secret car testing facility for the automotive project of Apple.