Sometimes there is just too much smoke for there to not be any fire, and the Apple electric car is one of those cases. After months of what has been an increasing rate of speculation, we now have the closest thing yet to confirmation that Apple is indeed working on launching its own automobile, though it may not be autonomous as had originally been claimed.
The latest round of speculation comes from The Wall Street Journal, which, in a report newly released, claims that Apple has now given the official go-head to its car team, allowing it to move the car into “committed project” mode. Furthermore, a prospective release date of 2019 has been slapped on the project, though at this early stage, that is obviously very much open to slippage.
Apple has been hiring personnel to work in its claimed 600-strong car division for a while now, with employees coming in from the likes of Ford, Tesla and VW. Some of the people hired have experience working on autonomous vehicles, though it is not believed that the 2019 target date is for a self-driving car – that is likely to come at a later date. As part of the project’s new status, Apple’s execs have reportedly given the green light to a new round of recruitment, with the company’s car team set to triple in size. It’s not known yet what those new hires will be responsible for, however.
image credit: BMW (Facebook)
Rumors of Apple Car, or iCar as some like to call it, venture have been surfacing periodically for some time, with the previous report claiming the company was in talks with GoMentum regarding a former naval base that the company uses to provide car manufacturers with a secure area to test autonomous cars. In 2014, a team from Apple lead by CEO Time Cook himself toured a BMW factory in Germany, reportedly to examine the manufacturing cycle of the automobile manufacturer’s electric i3 model. Although it seems the two companies weren’t able to come to an agreement, follow-up reports suggest the Apple Car might yet use the i3 as its base.
Apple’s foray into the car market is one that still doesn’t quite sit right with some, though we do remember many saying the exact same thing before the iPhone was released – Apple can’t just walk into the smartphone market and take over, can it?
And we all know how that panned out, don’t we BlackBerry?
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