Now that Apple has ventured into wearable category, and that long-rumored TV isn’t seem to be coming anytime soon, what is the Cupertino-based company working on these days? As per a report on the Wall Street Journal, the company is working on an electric car. The company has reportedly hired “several hundred” employees for its electric car which resembles a minivan, and the design team includes Marc Newson, chief design expert the company hired late last year.
The publication citing people familiar with the matter reports that the car has been codenamed “Titan,” but could take years in the making. It also adds the possibility that such a car might never see light of day, but the hiring and placement of several high profile names including former Ford engineer and current Apple product design VP Steve Zadesky, and former Ford designed Marc Newson into the car project is a sign that the company is serious about the car.
In addition, the company has also hired Johann Jungwirth, the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley research and development unit. He joined Apple last September.
The report further adds that the company has held meetings with “contract manufacturers for high-end cars.” The rumor about the car began earlier this week when Business Insider received an “unsolicited email” from an Apple staff who revealed that the company had hired engineers away from Tesla to work on “vehicle development.”
Right before the launch of its first wearable, Apple confirmed that it had hired Marc Newson. Before joining Apple, Newson had worked with Swiss watchmakers; designed a concept car for Ford, constructed the interior concepts for Australian airline Qantas, Nike shoes, and Japanese mobile handset.
This isn’t the first time Apple has shown interest in developing a car. In 2012, a court testimony of Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of marketings noted that the company had discussed building a car even before it built the iPhone.
Several other Silicon Valley giants are developing cars. Google has put an immense amount of research, time, and money on its self-driving vehicle. Tesla Motors has grabbed headlines for its electric cars.
“From a design philosophy, [Apple] is relatively closely aligned,” Elon Musk, Tesla’s co-founder and chief executive officer, had told Bloomberg Businessweek in an interview. “Apple tries very hard to recruit from Tesla,” he said. “But so far they’ve actually recruited very few people,” he had revealed.