As of lately, the internet is buzzing with articles talking about the latest rumors of Apple developing a car to take on Tesla. Most people seem to dismiss this idea, saying that Apple wouldn’t be able to produce an automobile due to lack of experience and the stiff competition. Admittedly, I was one of the early detractors, claiming that these rumors would be just that – rumors. Apparently, though, it seems as if Apple is more serious about this than we had previously thought. Apparently, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly approved the electric car project back in October 2014.
Word has gotten out that Apple has poached some employees from various companies in different automotive fields to help work on its “iCar” (Titan as referred internally) project. For instance, the team leader for this Apple car is Steve Zadesky, formerly an executive at Ford. There’s also former CEO and President of Research and Development at Mercedes-Benz, Johann Jungwirth. Those were a couple of serious players in the automotive field.
That isn’t all, though. Some of the people who left automotive companies to work for Apple include: Robert Gough (designed safety systems for Autoliv), David Nelson (mechanical engineer for Tesla), John Ireland (powertrain engineer for Tesla), David Perner (Hybrid engineer for Ford), and Fernando Cunha (Product Design Supervisor of Interiors for GM).
That’s not even all of the new hires, just the ones from automotive companies. Apple seems to mean business, not just messing around with an idea. They’ve also been hiring some folks from other mechanical manufacturing companies as well, such as Rui Guan, who was a Drivetrain engineer for a company call Ogin Inc. which makes wind turbines.
Most of the other new hires have mobile technology backgrounds so I’m assuming they are to help build the software behind the mechanics. All of this proves that Apple truly plans to take on fellow Californian auto-giant, Tesla. I’m not sure if they’ll be able to pull it off, making a new car in a very competitive industry is very difficult. There have been many over the years that failed (Detroit Electric comes to mind) and Tesla is the only one that seems to have been able to succeed. But one thing is for certain, Apple now has some of the right people to keep them in play on this hotly contested playing field.