Apple has 'several hundred' workers designing new electric car, codenamed 'Titan' - report

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2015
The smoke surrounding rumors of an Apple-branded vehicle has begun to thicken, as a new report says that Apple is indeed working on an all-electric vehicle that would take the shape of a minivan, with a huge team tasked to the project.

One of Apple's sensor-laden vans, spotted in Hawaii by AppleInsider reader matthawaii.
One of Apple's sensor-laden vans, spotted in Hawaii by AppleInsider reader matthawaii.


Apple has given the project codename "Titan," according to the Wall Street Journal. The company is said to have "several hundred" employees working in the group.

Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly green-lighted the project almost a year ago, and company executives have already begun to meet with potential contract manufacturers, including Canadian firm Magna Steyr. Apple iPod and iPhone designer Steve Zadesky, formerly of Ford, is said to be running the project.

The team --?which has its own development facility away from the main Infinite Loop campus -- could eventually swell to some 1,000 employees, and Zadesky has been given free reign to pull talent from any existing Apple group. Zadesky's group is reportedly researching "robotics, metals and materials consistent with automobile manufacturing."

The Journal's report follows hours after a similar missive from the Financial Times, which revealed a "top-secret research lab" staffed with automotive executives. Among those who have made the move is former Mercedes-Benz R&D head Johann Jungwirth, who joined Apple as a Mac systems engineering leader last fall.

Apple design chief Jony Ive is believed to have been personally recruiting automotive executives. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed earlier that Apple has tried "very hard" to poach engineers from the electric carmaker, offering $250,000 bonuses and 60 percent pay raises.

Rumors of an Apple-branded vehicle have been around for years, but began to gather steam when Apple was revealed as the company behind a fleet of mysterious sensor-laden vans which have appeared around the U.S. in recent months. Those vans, which are almost certainly designed for data collection to augment Apple's mapping service, are unlikely to be directly related to any potential vehicle project, which is likely years away from production.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 186

    Anything that still uses inflatable wheels isn’t really the sort of innovation for which Apple would go.

  • Reply 2 of 186
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    The smoke surrounding rumors of an Apple-branded vehicle has begun to thicken, as a new report says that Apple is indeed working on an all-electric vehicle that would take the shape of a minivan, with a huge team tasked to the project.

     

    I don't buy that. So what the vehicle will only be targeted to soccer moms?

  • Reply 3 of 186

    The iMinivan?

     

    Interesting. Coming from left field. 

     

    Little concerned at project codename. Hope this won't be Apple's Titanic.

  • Reply 4 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    The smoke surrounding rumors of an Apple-branded vehicle has begun to thicken, as a new report says that Apple is indeed working on an all-electric vehicle that would take the shape of a minivan, with a huge team tasked to the project.

     

    I don't buy that. So what the vehicle will only be targeted to soccer moms?


     

     

    Won't it be targeted to white van man?

  • Reply 5 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Anything that still uses inflatable wheels isn’t really the sort of innovation for which Apple would go.


     

     

    Don't deflate our dreams.

  • Reply 6 of 186
    This totally makes sense! It must be Steve Jobs last project, makes me think of that day when fake Steve bought a van to troll the used car salesman : http://www.fakesteve.net/2008/03/confession-i-love-to-****-with-car.html [URL=http://www.fakesteve.net/2008/03/confession-i-love-to-****-with-car.html]click here [/URL]

    (For your enjoyment)
  • Reply 7 of 186
    The link won't work because of the four letter word that got censored in **** , but this fake Steve is too good and appropriate so I'll post it here :


    So I know this is kind of sick but one thing I really like to do is screw around with car salesmen. Like I’ll be bored or something or just driving up the highway and I’ll see a car lot and I’ll say to myself, Jobso, it’s go time. I do this a lot. I know. It’s fu***ng evil and I’m wasting their time. What can I tell you? It’s so easy. I mean they’re just sitting there waiting for you to come in and **** with them.
    Little example. Yesterday I’m driving past Stevens Creek Toyota in San Jose and I can’t resist. It’s lunchtime, I’ve just smoked just a tiny bit of weed in my car and I don’t have any appointments until three. So in I go, trying to look a bit lost and daffy, like a bleeding swimmer drifting into a pool of sharks, and boom — like that, a dude named Hassan is all over me.
    I tell him I’m looking for a used minivan. He sits me down and we go through his list of what he’s got on the lot and we settle on a 1999 Sienna with a hundred and forty-five thousand miles. Now here’s what’s amazing. The guy is so hungry for a sale that he doesn’t think to wonder why a guy who just drove up in a five hundred thousand dollar Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster is shopping for a shitbox minivan. He also has no idea who I am. I mean he takes my license and makes a copy of it and calls me Mr. Jobs but still has no idea. I mean it’s clear he has no idea. The reason? I’m not in uniform. I’m wearing a baseball cap and a white Oxford shirt. This always works. It’s amazing.


    So the thing is, I love to meet car salesmen and hear their rap. They’ve all got a rap and this huge long list of tricks and I have to admit they never cease to entertain and amuse me. So we get into the shitvan and start driving and Hassan’s rap is to ask me all about my needs as a consumer and then start telling me why this is such an amazing van and perfect for me and using all these little linguistic tricks to make it seem like I already own the van. I tell him I’m a single guy but I just adopted a set of septuplets from Finland (I pronounce it “Findland” to see if he’ll notice; he doesn’t) and I need a vehicle that can hold all the kids plus my grandmother who’s going to be taking care of the kids while I’m at work, and she’s a hundred and two years old but still really spry though she’s also in a wheelchair so we’ll need to have the van retrofitted with a handicap lift and will that be possible?
    Of course of course of course, Hassan says, that’s no problem we do that all the time and these vans are the best in fact I think the older models are even better than the new ones because they get the better mileage and this is exactly the right one for you I mean I could sell you a newer one but why do you need that? Why? The kids are going to spill stuff and why mess up a new van?
    Plus there’s the lift, I say. He goes, That’s right that’s right the lift. And the kids being from Findland, I say, see they’ve never actually been in any kind of vehicle over there so I want something that can make them comfortable and we’ll need a set of seven car seats can you provide those? Of course of course of course, he says.
    So I’m driving and he’s saying how nice the ride is and how smooth the engine sounds and I wait until he pauses and I go, Hassan, you know what? This van is shit. He goes, What? I go, This van is shit. It’s a fucking piece of shit. You know it and I know it. Come on. Admit it. Be honest. This is a fucking big piece of shit. It’s a shit van. The engine sucks, the brakes are shot, the radio doesn’t even work. He’s like, No, it does! and he turns on the radio to prove it. I go, No, that radio is fucked up. It’s missing stations. It’s got a weak antenna. Or maybe no antenna. They probably broke the antenna, the previous owners. He says no that can’t be true but even if it is they will definitely put in a new antenna if one is needed. I’m like, Okay, take out a piece of paper and a pen and start making a list. New antenna —
    He goes, If it needs one.
    I’m like Hassan, do I look like a bitch? Then stop trying to **** me like a bitch! This piece of shit van fucking needs a new antenna Hassan so put a fucking antenna on the list. New antenna. New wheels. New brakes. I want disk brakes all around. If it’s got drum brakes in back I want them changed over to disk brakes. And new rotors. You fucking understand me? Do I need to start smashing into other cars to prove this to you?
    But here’s the creepy thing: I say all this stuff in a totally psycho monotone voice, staring straight ahead, clutching the wheel with both hands, and looking like at any minute I’m going to cross the center line and smash into an oncoming car.
    He sits there and doesn’t speak. He doesn’t move. I go, Hassan, start making that fucking list right now. He does, and then he says, in a very soft voice, Could you turn here and head back to the lot please?
    We go back. I hop out and turn all bright and cheery. I go, Dude, I love that van. Let’s go inside and talk price. Amazingly enough, he does it. We go inside. He says he has to go get the price from his manager. He comes back with a piece of paper and a number on it: $10,995. I take the paper and look at it. I mean I really stare at it. Then I take it and very calmly tear it in half, then in quarters, then in eighths. I tear it until it’s shredded and then I sprinkle the pieces on his desk. I look at him. He looks at me. I nod toward his manager. He goes off for another number.
    He comes back and the number is $10,595. I take out a lighter and set the paper on fire and drop it in his wastebasket. That freaks him out and the rest of the idiots too — funny but fire really has this primal effect on people, which is why magicians like to use it — and they all come running over and the manager says I really need to calm down and stop doing stuff like this. But here’s the amazing thing. They still want to sell me a car.
    The manager goes, How much do you want to pay for the van? Tell me your number. I tell him I’ve seen the exact same van with less miles on it at another Toyota dealer and they only want nine hundred bucks. If he can beat that price, I’ll take it. The guy just laughs. I laugh back, and I do this really deranged intentionally fake weirdo Frank Booth kind of laugh, like the laugh that Hillary uses in a debate when someone really bitch-slaps her with a tough question about her tax returns.
    The manager goes into the whole rap about how the dealership needs to make money and they paid a lot of money for this van and he says but since it’s the last day of the month and they need to move cars he can go check with his manager and come back to me, and sure enough a few minutes later he comes back with yet another piece of paper and before he hands it to me he makes me promise not to set it on fire and then he gives it to me and it says $9,995 and he says this is his rock bottom absolute best price. I go, That’s with the wheelchair lift right? He’s like, The what? I tell him that Hassan promised me they would install a wheelchair lift in the van for my one-hundred-and-two-year-old wheelchair-bound grandmother plus throw in seven car seats for the septuplets from Findland.
    The manager gets all pissed but Hassan denies making any such promise. I say, No no no, you absolutely promised, and here’s the list on my piece of paper where he wrote down all the stuff he was going to throw in for free. Hassan is freaking out and denying up and down.
    The manager says his price is just for the van and any extras will have to be negotiated separately. So I hand the paper back to him and I reach out like I’m going to shake his hand. But instead I go, Hey, pull my finger. He does. I fart. Then I thank him for an enjoyable forty-five minutes and walk out to my half million dollar Mercedes and drive away.
  • Reply 8 of 186
    Samsung will announce it too is working on a car.
  • Reply 9 of 186
    Most importantly the first car without Windows.
  • Reply 10 of 186

    Inflatable wheels make for a much smoother ride than solid ones, and even Apple cannae change the laws of physics.

  • Reply 11 of 186
    irelandireland Posts: 17,669member
    We'll see.
  • Reply 12 of 186
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,179member

    This may very well be the "we're working on stuff that hasn't even been rumored about yet" thing that Cook mentioned a while back. 

     

    Pretty fucking exciting. I used to believe that it would be complete absurd for Apple to get into the car industry, but my views have changed. I see them as more capable, open-minded, and versatile now than they've ever been. Not to mention they have the brand name, commitment, skill, motivation, and least of all, the cash. They can overturn or at least be extremely successful in whatever market they choose to enter. 

  • Reply 13 of 186
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,179member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

     

    The iMinivan?

     

    Interesting. Coming from left field. 

     

    Little concerned at project codename. Hope this won't be Apple's Titanic.


     

    To you, every fucking product Apple releases is their "Titanic". Or at least, you fantasize that it will be. 

  • Reply 14 of 186
    Originally Posted by Mr Squid View Post

    Inflatable wheels make for a much smoother ride than solid ones, and even Apple cannae change the laws of physics.



    They can, however, use theseOr spheres and make driving easier than ever.

     

    I do like how one moron found one van registered to Apple and now suddenly they’re making their own car. It’s great.

  • Reply 15 of 186
    It would be interesting if they decide to build it in Detroit.
  • Reply 16 of 186
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,483member

    Nope.

  • Reply 17 of 186

    Holy Fcuk if true. Gotta love Apple's ambition. Go big or go home.

  • Reply 18 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

     

    Nope.


    This is the WSJ reporting it. I'll take their word over yours.

  • Reply 19 of 186
    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 20 of 186
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,611member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macboy Pro View Post



    Most importantly the first car without Windows.



    Ha ha....

     

    If Apple brings out a car I have a feeling it will be an electric urban vehicle. It will be a cool fist step that will be very competitively priced. There are millions of people living in urban locations who really do not need a larger gas powered vehicle. How about a modular design? I just can't see Apple making a 'regular' vehicle. What'd be the point?

     

    Oh, and the launch? A perfect first launch at the new HQ.

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