Apple's secret car division, code-named Project Titan, is about to expand as Dan Dodge, the ex-leader of BlackBerry's automotive software, joins the company.

Dodge, who used to own operating system company QNX before it was purchased by BlackBerry in 2010, is the first top-tier hire made by the recently changed management of Project Titan.

Steve Zadesky, the former head of Project Titan, left Apple invoking personal reasons, which caused some distress in the company's automotive division. Following Zadesky's departure, Apple appealed to Bob Mansfield, the retired Apple hardware exec, and convinced him to join the company again as head of Project Titan.

So, why is Mansfield's decision to recruit Dodge so important?

According to Bloomberg, Mansfield and Dodge might switch Apple's focus from its path of creating a full-electric car to building self-driving software. Despite no official statement from Apple, there is a high chance that the company will avoid building its own car from scratch and will choose to partner with an existing carmaker.

From his days with QNX company, Dodge has ample expertise when it comes to cooperating with the auto industry. QNX used to code entertainment and navigation software for various automotive companies such as Daimler, Volkswagen and Ford, giving Dodge the proper know-how to help Apple in its quest for success in the self-driving auto industry.

The QNX co-founder will answer to software helm John Wright, who directly reports to Mansfield, with the latter being under direct supervision from Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.

Project Titan has been rumored and leaked for a while now, but so far very few details have permeated beyond the company's walls. Focusing on software instead of hardware seems to be just another spin in Apple's car plans, which only insiders know more about.

What is rumored is that the company will roll out a product that can be anything from a software package targeted at self-driving cars to a physical vehicle that runs on it. The expected time frame could make Apple fans wait another five or six years before the end product goes live.

Some rumors hinted at 2020 as a release date, while recent reports show that 2021 is a much more plausible year for Project Titan's public showcasing.

Keep in mind that a few hundred Apple employees are working on the project, and Cook also hinted at its fabulous potential.

"The products that are in R&D [...] are not currently shipping or derivations of what is currently shipping," said Cook in an earnings call on July 26.

Are you curious about what Apple is baking in Project Titan? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

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