The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, but now we have a date:According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple plans to debut its first electric car in 2019. But it won't be self-driving.
Quoting unnamed insiders with knowledge of the project, WSJ reports that the Cupertino tech giant has authorized Project Titan's leaders to triple the 600-person team tasked with the project. The revelation follows reports of Apple hiringbig-time automotive experts and scouting locations for autonomous car testing.
But while Apple has brought in a number of experts in autonomous car design,WSJ's sources say the first electric vehicle Apple produces won't be fully autonomous, calling that capability part of the tech giant's long-term plans.
As for that 2019 target date? It's wildly ambitious, particularly for a company with zero previous experience building a car. WSJ points out that "in Apple's parlance, a 'ship date' doesn't necessarily mean the date that customers receive a new product; it can also mean the date that engineers sign off on the product's main features." The paper also notes that "people familiar with the project said there is skepticism within the team that the 2019 target is achievable."
It's worth noting that,while Apple has expertise in battery technology and the kind of sensors and software that dominate modern automobiles, the technology juggernaut has zero experience in automobile manufacturing. Indeed, most of Apple's current products are manufactured bysubcontractors like Foxconn, a tactic that's not widely used in the auto industry.
Can Apple deliver a viable product that meets the many regulatory requirements of modern motor vehicles as quickly as this report suggests? That remains to be seen. But reports like this paint an increasingly convincing picture—Apple's automotive plans are no longer just rumor and speculation. The Cupertino fruit stand is serious about breaking into the car market.
Original Source: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a17427/report-apple-car-due-by-2019/