Apple may soon be adding automobiles to its growing list of product offerings.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports the Cupertino, California-based company is increasing its efforts to build an Apple-branded car, which is code-named Titan. The company is reportedly shooting for a 2019 shipping date.
Sources told WSJ the project leaders behind Titan were recently given the green light to “triple the 600-person team” after the company spent the past year exploring the feasibility of building this car and holding meeting with government officials in California.
Other details surrounding the car are still shrouded in mystery though. Apple has hired a slew of experts specializing in driverless cars, but sources also told WSJ this capability won’t make their first version of this product autonomous.
That feature may be built into later models.
Apple also has yet to announce a manufacturing partner for the vehicle despite wanting to have a finalized ship date for the car in four years. The manufacturing process for automobiles can be very complex and new cars need to clear a series of regulatory hurdles before they can be cleared to drive on the road.
Although Apple CEO Tim Cook and other representatives from the tech titan have never commented on project Titan, this initiative has drawn significant interest from carmakers.
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Auto executives were very curious to see what Apple and Google were up to at the recent Frankfurt International Car show in Germany, writes The New York Times. These tech titans employ a bevy of engineers that can help automakers build cars with more internet-enabled features.
However, the Times notes automakers are concerned about the risk of how Apple and Google “would turn carmakers into mere hardware makers – and hog the profits.”
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told a crowd of reporters at the show, “What is important for us is that brain of the car, the operating system is not iOS or Android or someone else but it’s our brain.”