Apple Car Reportedly At Least Five Years Away Despite New Tesla Hires

The Apple Car has been getting a lot of attention of late with some people suggesting that we might see its arrival within the next couple of years. However, that’s looking less and less likely after Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman shared a new report that claims we won’t be driving around an Apple Car for at least five years. Maybe more.

Interestingly, despite previous reports claiming the Apple Car project – Project Titan, within Apple – is running with a team of around 1,000, Gurman says that isn’t the case at all. The team is, he says, small.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has a small team of hardware engineers developing drive systems, vehicle interior and external car body designs with the goal of eventually shipping a vehicle. That’s a more ambitious goal than in previous years when the project mostly focused on creating an underlying self-driving system. The company has also added more ex-Tesla Inc. executives to the project.

The same report also notes that Apple has picked up multiple engineers from the likes of Tesla, BMW, and even Waymo as it continues to get its ducks in a row ahead of an Apple Car launch, whatever that might look like.

Apple also recently hired Jonathan Sive, a vehicle engineer from BMW AG, Tesla and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, as a senior manager on the car project. In 2019, Apple tapped Michael Schwekutsch, Tesla’s former vice president in charge of drive systems, adding to a growing list of former Tesla employees working on the vehicle effort.

Late in 2020, Apple also hired another former Tesla vice president, Stuart Bowers, according to a person familiar with the move. He led Tesla’s self-driving technology team until mid-2019 and was an executive-in-residence at venture capital firm Greylock Partners until July, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Bloomberg also notes that Apple has a small team working on a possible drive train and battery technology, among other things. However, there’s also a suggestion that Apple might partner with a traditional automaker, too.

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