Apple is ramping up its efforts to build an electric car, having set a target ship date of 2019, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal has reported.Apple’s efforts in the automotive space now appear to be gathering momentum, with reports having emerged earlier in the year of the project code-named “Titan”.
The WSJ has reported its sources as stating that Titan’s go-ahead came after Apple spent more than a year investigating the feasibility of an Apple-branded car, with leaders of the project having been given permission to triple their 600-person team.
While Apple has hired experts in driverless cars, the WSJ reported its sources as stating Apple’s first car effort will not be fully autonomous.
Should Apple branch out into the automotive industry, it would represent a significant step outside its traditional product offerings, with the tech giant’s interest indicative of the potential for the industry to evolve in the next five to 10 years.
Significant research is being undertaken into the development of fully autonomous vehicles, while cars are expected to play a major role in the evolution of the Internet of Things – Gartner has forecast that there will be 250 million connected vehicles on the road by 2020.
The WSJ report notes that the 2019 target is ambitious, reporting people familiar with the project as stating that there is scepticism within the team that the target is achievable.