Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly developing a self-driving electric car with a minivan design and has brought in several industry and tech experts for the project. The company is currently in the research and development stage along with deciding production methods with industry experts.
Sources familiar with the project remained unclear if Apple would develop the car. The company has brought in several employees from Tesla and others including Johann Jumgwirth who developed smartphone integration for Mercedes-Benz until September. The reports indicate the company’s interest in competing with Google which is testing the self-driving cars and electric car makers like Tesla.
Connected cars with smartphone integration with access to apps and services is a growing market for technology companies. The company also unveiled CarPlay that allows access to calls via iPhones without having to leave the steering wheel. The research is currently in progress at a secret lab in Silicon Valley and Apple declined to comment on the reports.
According to Financial Times, the company had set up the lab soon after the launch of iPhones and the Apple Watch. The project was rumored to be named “Titan” that included several hundreds of researchers and the lab was located close to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. The company is likely to offer the contract to contract car makers Magna International as executives have visited one of their unit called Magna Steyr.
Apple would make its entry into the automobile market if it succeeds in developing a self-driving electric car though its main focus would remain on mobile and other devices. The car will have CarPlay along with the standard iOS for integration with Apple devices. By developing HomeKit, HealthKit and CarPlay, the tech giant is seeking to enter home, health and automobile markets.[ Via ]