In a September 2014 interview with Charlie Rose, Apple CEO Tim Cook said “There are products that we’re working on that no one knows about. That haven’t been rumored about yet.” That same month, Apple hired the president and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Johann Jungwirth. Let the rumors begin.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Apple has its sights set on the electric car industry and has several hundred employees working secretly toward creating a minivan-esque, Apple-branded prototype under the project code name “Titan.”
Unnamed individuals who are reportedly familiar with this undertaking confirmed to the Journal that Cook had approved the car project almost a year ago and assigned veteran product design VP Steve Zadesky to lead the group, which consists of a 1,000-person team. They are reportedly working from a private location just miles from the company’s Cupertino headquarters and have been working with various metals, materials and robotics that are consistent with automobile manufacturing.
Yet there is always the possibility that Apple will not proceed with building an electric car. The Journal points out that Apple will often build multiple prototypes for projects of ideas and things that it never actually sells. However, sources familiar with the matter reportedly said that the size of the team assigned to this undertaking, in addition to the background of individuals Apple has hired within that timeframe, indicate that Apple is likely serious about the car.
Either way, it will be several years before the Apple car is ready for the road.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz