In a surprising move, Apple has set its sights on developing an iCar.
Rumors abound, but what is known for certain is that this project, code named Titan, has recently been expanded to include 1,800 experts from automotive, engineering, electronic and software backgrounds. The goal is to complete the first Apple car by a target ship date in 2019.
Apple Enters the Car Market
Although this is the first time that Apple has shown interest in automobiles, this project is not entirely a surprise, either. With the Google self-driving car inching toward its 2020 release goal, Apple was a natural to throw their hat into the automotive ring. Unlike with the Google car, autonomy isn’t an immediate goal for Apple, but the company does say that it’s in the cards for later releases of its vehicle.
Apple’s history of outsourcing their manufacturing makes this project entirely feasible in the small window they’ve given themselves, provided they can complete their designs relatively quickly. Any vehicle for sale in the United States still requires a great deal of testing before it can be allowed on the roads — and that applies even more so to those cars that are smarter than the average auto, since the computer systems must be completely foolproof as well.
Will Titan Be An Electric Car?
Some speculate that Titan will join the ranks of other high-end electric cars like the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf, but they’ll be years behind the pack if that’s the case. Before the iCar is released, the General Motors’ brands already working on the same technology will have an extensive line of long-range electric cars ready for the market. What Apple believes it will bring to the equation is a huge unknown.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Gene Munster, an equity analyst with Piper Jaffray, estimates that Apple’s chance of successfully completing the project is only in the 50 to 60 percent range. However, Munster emphasizes that if this car is completed, he believes it will be innovative, have the ability to interface with other Apple products and possess some sort of autonomous capacity.
Apple has long been known for creating and capturing markets for its unique products After all, it led the tablet revolution in 2010 with the iPad and invented the modern Smartphone by adding a multi-touch interface to its 2007 iPhone. How the iCar will revolutionize automotive design is uncertain, but the cloak of secrecy surrounding Project Titan has the world’s interest piqued.