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Apple’s Project Titan: Everything We Know So Far About Apple’s Highly Rumored Electric Car Project

12 January 2016, 6:25 am EST By Dave Calpito Tech Times
Quite a lot of rumors regarding Apple's purported Project Titan have previously surfaced online. Apple CEO Tim Cook has declined to talk about it in any way, but the reports just keep coming.  ( Stephen Lam | Getty Images )

Project Titan, widely purported as Apple's plan to manufacture its own electric and/or autonomous vehicles, has been dominating the headlines recently. The company, nevertheless, is very tight-lipped about the reported project.

While Apple boss Tim Cook has declined to talk about it, we have seen quite a few rumors, leaks and reports that have previously surfaced and made rounds on the Internet.

Here's a roundup of what you need to know about Apple's alleged Project Titan.

1. Codenamed "Project Titan"

The Wall Street Journal initially pushed out a report in February last year that Apple could be working on its electric vehicle. Citing a source who is said to be "familiar with the matter," the report claimed that Apple already had hundreds of employees working on a minivan-like vehicle.

This new venture, with a reported codename of "Project Titan," is believed to be led by the company's veteran product designer Vice President Steve Zadesky, a former Ford engineer who played a big role in developing the company's iPod and iPhone.

2. Apple Could Be Working On An Autonomous Car

Citing its source from the auto industry, Reuters reported in the same month that Apple is trying to make its own version of a self-driving car. The source said the company is taking advice from automotive suppliers and carmakers on production methods but isn't going beyond that.

"They don't appear to want a lot of help from carmakers," the source said.

It seems, then, that Apple is just going after the expertise instead of partnerships with automakers.

3. Apple Could House Its Electric Cars In Sunnyvale

In October last year, we delved on a report regarding Apple's second spaceship in Sunnyvale. The spaceship-like headquarters in the major Silicon Valley city has been reported to house the company's electric vehicles down the road.

The 777,000 square-foot campus that could have three six-storey buildings could host roughly about 3,000 employees when it's completely developed.

4. The Apple Car Could Have A Digital License Plate

The following month, a report again cropped up claiming that Apple Car could bring digital license plates to the road soon. Of course, it's safe to say these could be used for Apple's electric vehicles.

A LinkedIn profile of Rónán Ó Braonáin, one of Apple's new hires, also leaked, showing that he worked in a company that's building the world's first digital license plate. This digital license plate is deemed high tech, having the capacity to alert authorities when an incident happens.

Reports were quick on speculating that Apple could be considering incorporating the plate in its Project Titan car.

5. Apple Registered Three Car-Related Top-Level Domain Names

Earlier this month, Apple allegedly registered three car-related top-level domain names. These domain names include: apple.cars, apple.car and apple.auto.

At the moment, though, these web addresses are not yet active.

6. Apple Was In Talks With Officials Of A Testing Facility

A report from The Guardian said engineers of Apple's alleged Special Project group purportedly met up with officials of the GoMentum Station, a former naval based near San Francisco said to be a testing facility for self-driving cars.

"We would ... like to get an understanding of timing and availability for the space, and how we would need to coordinate around other parties who would be using [it]," says the leaked document which was obtained by The Guardian.

7. Apple Reportedly Met With California's DMV

Another sound rumor which implies that the company is really working on Project Titan is that it reportedly met with officials of California's Department of Motor Vehicles to talk about the regulations of the state for self-driving vehicles.

8. Apple Revealed It's Enhancing Its Mapping Technology

Apple disclosed on its website that it is currently beefing up its mapping technology.

"Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps," says Apple.

This is another sign that Apple could be jumping into the auto industry. 

9. Apple Hires Veterans In The Auto Industry

WSJ also reported that Apple hired Doug Betts, who headed the global quality at Fiat Chrysler.

The company also reportedly hired Paul Furgale, a renowned self-driving car researcher in Switzerland.

Another report from Bloomberg claimed that Apple allegedly tried to appeal to Tesla hires with a very attractive deal: a 60 percent salary increase and a $250,000 signing bonus.

10. Tesla's Boss Himself Said Apple Is Developing Its Electric Car

Early this month, BBC interviewed Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He boldly said that Apple is, indeed, making its own electric vehicle.

"It's pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it," said Musk.

11. Tim Cook Doesn't Want To Talk About It

When NPR host Robert Siegel asked Tim Cook if the rumor that Apple is working on the Apple Car is true, Cook refused to answer the question.

"Do you have another question?" said Cook.

This sums up Apple's secretive nature when it comes to the company's brilliant press release strategy. It is believed it might take a few more months or years before we could hear official details from Apple about to its plan. More details are sure to surface down the road. We'll be sure to keep you posted.

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