Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) electric car is going to hit the market in 2019 through their coded Project Titan. There has not been any official confirmation from Apple but the writing is all on the wall. Sources at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) claim the project was given a green light in 2014 with former Ford engineer and the name behind iPod and iPhone, Steve Zadesky as the head.
But now Bob Mansfield, a long time executive at Apple is going leading Apple’s electric car project. Reports claim that Bob stepped down from the executive board in 2013 but stayed to oversee “special projects” reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook. Apple Watch is one product that was born out of these projects. During his tenure, he led engineering teams that came up with MacBook Air, iMac, and the iPad. Although not an automotive guru, he has a flair for the Apple’s hardware visions. All the managers at the Project Titan will report to him.
Electric Car and Open Secret
However, this is not news to Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk. At an earlier code conference, he said that Apple will start production of electric cars in volume starting 2020. While Musk sees potential competition from Apple, he does not think Google can do the same directly. He said “[Google has] done a great job at showing the potential of autonomous transport but they’re not a car company”.
The imminent entry of Apple in to the industry is no longer rumors. This explains why there is bad blood between Apple and Tesla though none of them is quick to admit. Musk has previously referenced Apple as “Tesla Graveyard” due to the fact that Apple “scavenges” employees from Tesla. They hire those Tesla fires. But Bloomberg maintains Musk also hires former Apple workers and more than 150 of them have been poached to-date.
Apple has a policy, according to Reuters that offers former Tesla employees salary bumps of 60% and $0.25 million bonuses upon signing. More than 60 former Tesla employees have decamped to Apple, cementing the fact that the electric car is in the offing. These include software, hardware, supply chain and manufacturing engineers, product managers, sales experts, attorneys and recruiters among other high profile specialists. These are for their (Apple’s) large-scale battery division and Project Titan. They have also poached from Volkswagen, Ford and Bosch and a now bankrupt electric motorcycle company.
Additional reports by The Information indicate that Brian Sumner, a computer scientist with Apple for over five years and his two brothers are working on new servers and software in readiness for the massive amount of data that will be generated by the electric cars. It is estimated that these autonomous cars will consume up 2-10 gigabytes worth of data per mile!
But Where Is This Project Titan?
Ever heard of a company called SixtyEight Research? It is in Sunnyvale, close to the main company campus in buildings that Apple owns. That is the place.