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. Canada is mostly Hydro.
      Iceland is mostly GeoThermal
      Germany is fast moving to Solar
      The rest of world is moving to clean coal and Solar.

      Then there is Carbon capture.

      All this combined is way better than burning oil in each individual car.

        1. Dude – thinking about reducing the demand for conventional power. Solar won’t replace it but will lower the percentage pf total power derived from fossil fuels. Most power is required during the day when people are at work.
          Try to be a bit more open minded and less dogmatic.

    2. Yes! And in my opinion we should leverage lower costs of fossil fuel to pay for the carbon capture at centralized coal and oil plants. Fossil fuels + zero emissions.

      Nobody seems to talk about that, and I am probably off my rocker, but if technology keeps lowering the cost of pulling fossil fuels out of the ground, and carbon capture keeps getting cheaper too, then everyone wins.

  1. I know Steve Jobs back in 2006 was pretty obsessed with the auto-industry and how Apple could apply what it was doing elsewhere to the design of cars. I can’t help but wonder if this is something that goes all the way back to things Jobs envisioned Apple doing at some point and was part of his final playbook.

      1. I am waiting for Google and Microsoft to announce cars.

        If I had to guess, Microsoft will just keep losing billions on poor selling phones, but Google will feel the need to play “me too”.

        I really don’t think Samsung is going to jump, but who knows.

        Then will Apple go into manufactured homes? If they win at cars they will have a devil of a time growing even larger unless they go into homes, lol.

        1. Microsoft had their version of car play in cars built by Ford. It received horrible reviews. For it is now replacing it with car play in future models.

          Have you not seen Google’s self driving car? It’s a very cartoonish looking clown car.

  2. Um. Not all cars will be powered by coal and nuclear power. Apple’s data centers are solar, remember. And don’t forget to add in the autonomous bit—all those recent sightings of vehicles tricked out with corner/side cameras and antennae. They’re not out there taking pictures of your front yard to Google-ize Maps. Talk about disruptive technologies. They’ll out-do Google and Tesla with a single, seismic, stroke. It’s a wonderful world.

    1. Everyone seems to forget that some of us are fortunate to have water power.

      Not an industry with much expansion potential but we have been living on green power around here for a few generations.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

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