“Apple Inc. is recruiting experts from the auto industry, a signal that its efforts to develop an electric car could be gaining ground,” Christina Rogers, Mike Ramsey and Daisuke Wakabayashi report for The Wall Street Journal. “Doug Betts, who led global quality at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV until last year, is now working for the Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics giant but declined to comment on the position when reached Monday. Along with Mr. Betts, whose expertise points to a desire to know how to build a car, Apple recently recruited one of the leading autonomous-vehicle researchers in Europe and is building a team to work on those systems.”

“Apple has hired hundreds of people to work on an electric-car project code-named ‘Titan,'” Rogers, Ramsey and Wakabayashi report. “Earlier this year, Apple hired Paul Furgale a well-regarded autonomous vehicle researcher in Switzerland, and has begun recruiting other robotics and machine vision experts to work on a confidential project.”

“Apple CEO Tim Cook appointed Steve Zadesky to lead the group, a veteran product designer and former Ford Motor Co. engineer. Mr. Zadesky was given permission to create a 1,000-person team and recruit employees from other parts of Apple, people familiar with the matter said,” Rogers, Ramsey and Wakabayashi report. “Mr. Betts could be the first major automotive executive to join Apple with experience leveled more at the manufacturing side of the business. For nearly two decades, he has worked in product quality and manufacturing at an auto company, first as a general manager at Toyota Motor Corp. and later as a vice president at Nissan Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, now FCA US LLC.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

If they’re smart, the vehicle industry should be preparing for their iPhone moment.

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