Apple’s project ‘Titan’ gears up to challenge Tesla in electric cars

“Apple Inc. has revolutionized music and phones. Now it is aiming at a much bigger target: automobiles,” Daisuke Wakabayashi and Mike Ramsey report for The Wall Street Journal.

“The Cupertino, Calif., company has several hundred employees working secretly toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle, according to people familiar with the matter. The project, code-named ‘Titan,’ initially is working on the design of a vehicle that resembles a minivan, one of the people said,” Wakabayashi and Ramsey report. “Apple often investigates technologies and potential products, going as far as building multiple prototypes for some things that it won’t ever sell. Any car would take several years to complete and obtain safety certifications.”

“But the size of the project team and the senior people involved indicate that the company is serious, these people said. Apple executives have flown to Austria to meet with contract manufacturers for high-end cars including the Magna Steyr unit of Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc.,” Wakabayashi and Ramsey report. “Apple hopes to put its stamp on the electric vehicle market in the same way it did the smartphone with its iPhone, said a person familiar with its work.”

“Mr. Cook approved the car project almost a year ago and assigned veteran product design Vice President Steve Zadesky to lead the group, the people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Zadesky is a former Ford engineer who helped lead the Apple teams that created the iPod and iPhone,” Wakabayashi and Ramsey report. “In September, Apple hired Johann Jungwirth, who had been the president and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, which has operations in Sunnyvale, Calif., near Apple’s campus, according to his LinkedIn profile.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Forget Tesla, here’s some advice for the entire automobile industry: Cower in fear.

But, first, give us some quotes along the lines of how “PC guys are not going to just walk in.” It’s way more fun that way!

Related articles:
Apple’s next big thing: The Apple Car? – February 13, 2015
Apple hiring auto engineers and designers – February 13, 2015

113 Comments

  1. I sure hope they aren’t looking to build electric cars. If so, I am inclined to believe that Apple’s run is about to take an ugly detour. I hope I’m wrong, though, and obviously Tim and Co are smarter than I am. I seriously don’t think electric cars are the future, though.

  2. If everybody stopped long enough to think about it, Apple and Tesla were meeting together about a year ago.

    About that time Musk made important Tesla patents available, for free, to anyone that wanted to use them.

    Tesla has hired Apple engineers, Apple has hired Tesla engineers.

    What better way to hide that they’re working together than in plain sight.

  3. It’s 2015. Flying cars are 15 years overdue.

    This could be it!

    If Apple does cars like they’ve done everything else, their machines WILL fly out of the showrooms – at least figuratively.

    1. Seriously? Think about the drone safety problem that is beginning to happen now and multiply it by 100,000 times.

      I dont want to have to armor plate the top of my house with 3-6 inch thick steel plate, thank you very much.

      I’m guessing it wasn’t a serious comment?

      1. Good guess!

        (I was really hoping that someone would post: “Surely you can’t be serious,” and then I could respond with: “Please don’t call me Shirley!”)

        So close…

    1. Don’t know about -30 but around -10 to 10 you have to have the car plugged in (in your garage) with the pre-conditioning set to warm up the battery, then charging and re-gen will work. The battery will stay warm while you drive. Range is quite reduced, almost to 50% of normal.

    1. Also
      If Apple spent 3 billion on beats…. This is a no brainer Even if it does not make it go the market… Just for the stuff apple will learn and discover in the process)

  4. The problem with trying to get in the auto market in the US is the ancient franchising laws in many states. For some reason, manufacturers are not allowed to also retail what they build. In the same way Apple prefers controlling the buying experience with technology, they would likely want to with cars and this is another problem they would need to solve. And it won’t be easy. Tesla has bumped into this as well in several states as well I think.

  5. More likely. One or more of the following:

    1) apple is developing an automotive technology demonstrator.
    2) Apple and telsa team up to sell Telsa cars at apple retail stores. Telsa’s retail problems solved.
    3) Apple invests in Telsa to build large new factory. Apple provides global supply chain advice.

  6. The amount of details about this story make me wonder. It seems unlikely at such an early stage for Apple to be so lax with their security. It has been suggested a car is several years away yet we are told the code name for the project. I think this whole story is bogus.

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