After yesterday's unexpected report that Apple is assembling a team to build an electric car, we've got : According to unnamed sources within the company, Apple wants that car to be self-driving.
that the California tech giant is gathering information and experts on car building and the nuances of self-driving technology. The report repeats , alleging that Apple has plans to build an all-electric vehicle to take on Tesla, and adds the interesting aspect of self-driving technology to the mix.
"It's a software game. It's all about autonomous driving," the anonymous insider told Reuters. And that makes sense: As Reuters points out, there's plenty of money to be made on cutting-edge vehicle software. A self-driving operating system requires high-definition mapping, and the electric car Apple is allegedly building will require bespoke software. The company's biggest competitor, Google, has been for more than a year.
Apple could be interested in moving into the burgeoning self-driving car market the way it entered the smartphone and digital music spheres: By creating both hardware and software in-house, rather than pursuing partnerships with existing suppliers. "They don't appear to want a lot of help from carmakers," said the Reuters source.
Notably, the tech company hired Johann Jungwirth, former head of research and development at Mercedes-Benz, back in September. Jungwirth's responsibilities over the past five years at Mercedes included autonomous driving, connected car tech, and electric vehicle powertrain research. A Mercedes spokesman toldReuters that the company's autonomous car engineering team remains intact.
An Apple spokesperson declined comment to Reuters.
Apple's alleged automotive endeavor, code-named "Project Titan," could end up poaching numerous experts from throughout the auto industry. According to yesterday's WSJ report, the team is being led by product design Vice President Steve Zadesky, a former Ford engineer who's been authorized to create a team of up to 1,000 people.