Not content with its devices already living in our pockets, on our wrists, and on our desktops, Apple is seemingly at work on a completely different sort of mobile device: an electric car. Tesla CEO Elon Musk calls Apple’s electric car project an “open secret.” In keeping with the company’s grand tradition of hush-hush product development, there are only whispers about what Apple’s take on mobility will be like. While any sort of product release to this end is still several years away, it’s a fine time to be entering the automotive industry, with U.S. car sales hitting record numbers last year. Whatever Apple’s finished product is actually like, here’s what we know and have heard about the Apple car so far.
It is codenamed Project Titan, and a car could be out in five years.
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There are reportedly 1,000 employees working on the Apple car.
Since it was kicked off in 2014, Project Titan has involved the work of some 1,000 engineers, some of which formerly worked at Tesla. In fact, enough engineers have left Tesla to work for the iPhone manufacturer that Elon Musk has called Apple “the Tesla graveyard.”
Apple owns a variety of URLs pertaining to its car.
Check out the reports on apple.car, apple.auto, and apple.cars — they are of course registered to the famous Cupertino technology firm. These sites are broken for now, but they certainly seem like the type of web property to set up if one were going to sell cars.
The car could be in development at three different Apple installations around the world.
The speculation is that Project Titan hardware is coming together at labs in Vienna, Austria, Berlin, Germany, and Sunnyvale, California. There’s even speculation that it’s being built in Cork, Ireland.
Apple has inquired about using a driverless car test track.
It’s called GoMentum, and it’s the same automobile-testing station in California where Google and Tesla perfect driverless car features. It seems like any car with futuristic self-driving capabilities comes through this facility.
Its state-of-the-art battery will come from an unnamed South Korean partner.
Due to top-secret business practices, we don’t get to know the name of the South Korean company Apple is working with on car batteries, but we do get to know that its hollow-centered lithium ion battery design will have significantly expanded capacity. In practical terms, an electric car will be able to go farther on it per charge.
Apple has had a hard time finding a company to manufacture its car design.
After getting nos from BMW and Daimler, Apple is rumored to be working with vehicle firm Magna, based in Vienna.
Senior Vice President of Technologies Bob Mansfield is in charge of Project Titan.
Appointed to lead the car project in July, Mansfield is Apple’s head of hardware development and was formerly in charge of the company’s Macs and iPads. We predict lots of smooth, rounded edges here.