Apple's 'Project Titan' at crossroads, team in hiring freeze, source says

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Apple has placed a hiring freeze on the team responsible for the company's nascent automotive ambitions after executives became unhappy with the project's direction and progress, AppleInsider has learned.


Artist's (poor) rendering of an Apple garage.


The change was precipitated by a post-holiday progress review conducted by Apple design chief Jony Ive, according to a previously reliable source with knowledge of the team's activities. Ive is said to have "expressed his displeasure" with the group's headway.

In all, Apple is believed to have more than 1,000 people working on Project Titan at sites both inside and outside of Cupertino. Hiring was so aggressive that Apple's poaching of engineering talent from Tesla is thought to have had a "big impact" on the Elon Musk-led company's ability to keep up with development of future vehicles.

The news comes days after a report that Steve Zadesky, a longtime Apple engineering lead who was initially put in charge of Project Titan, would leave the company. It's not immediately clear whether Zadesky's departure -- said to be for "personal reasons" -- is related to the staffing restrictions.

Apple's car initiative has seen multiple setbacks in recent months as the company works to meet an ambitious schedule that would have final engineering completed by 2019.

In September, AppleInsider learned that manufacturing issues had forced Apple to consider partnering with an established automaker. The company is thought to have spoken with BMW about a tie-up that could involve using BMW's electric i3 model as a development platform, though the German marque is seemingly reluctant to enter into such an agreement.

Apple is said to be particularly interested in BMW thanks to the company's willingness to move beyond traditional approaches to carmaking with the i3.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member
    A Apple car is kinda silly. Car tech makes sense, buying Tesla.. maybe... Build a damn desktop computer and automate the home would be awesome.
    elijahgsteviet02jackansibrian green[Deleted User]
  • Reply 2 of 91
    I smell bullshit timely released to drive AAPL down before QR
    palominebuckaleclkruppyojimbo007badmonk
  • Reply 3 of 91
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    I think this project just hit a patch of black ice, skidded off the road and plunged into a ravine.

    Scratch that 'next big thing'

    How about we do a TV guys?
    edited January 2016 canukstormaylk[Deleted User]
  • Reply 4 of 91
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,895member
    xzu said:
    A Apple car is kinda silly. Car tech makes sense, buying Tesla.. maybe... Build a damn desktop computer and automate the home would be awesome.


    At this point I am not sure how Apple would improve upon the user experience of driving. Personally I am not into self driving cars, self driving train that works for me. But driving a cars is a personal experience I enjoy doing. Today I take mostly back road driving to work which I a little longer but I enjoy the drive far better than taking the regular commute routes.

    But automating the home is a far more complicated problems, not every home in the world is built the same way so their are so many problems to solve this will only complicated the solution. In a sense, it easy to build a car than automate most homes, The car you control all the systems in a home someone else over many years made decision about the control systems.

    maciekskontaktdiplication
  • Reply 5 of 91
    Mr_GreyMr_Grey Posts: 118member
    ... Apple is said to be particularly interested in BMW thanks to the company's willingness to move beyond traditional approaches to carmaking (sic) with the i3.
    I've read multiple accounts that imply that the real reason they want to "work with BMW," is because what they've come up with in their lab is so similar to the i3, that they fear lawsuits if they move forward independently.  

    Also, "carmaking" is not a real word. 
    [Deleted User]
  • Reply 6 of 91
    xzu said:
    A Apple car is kinda silly. Car tech makes sense, buying Tesla.. maybe... Build a damn desktop computer and automate the home would be awesome.
    It makes even more sense to buy BMW. BMW is cheap at $60 Billion. It even makes a large profit which Tesla may never do. Apple likes profit. BMW already makes electric cars. And BMW can mass produce cars - Tesla cannot. Tesla' cars are flawed because it hasn't made cars for long. Tesla's bugs would drive perfectionistic Apple nuts  Apple can buy BMW with only 6 months of revenue. 
    latifbp[Deleted User]
  • Reply 7 of 91
    19831983 Posts: 1,223member
    Another one bites the dust...
  • Reply 8 of 91
    Mr_Grey said:

    Also, "carmaking" is not a real word. 

    Really, is this what we're gonna do today? We're gonna fight? 

    https://www.google.com/search?q="carmaking"&client=safari&rls=en&source=lnms&tbm=nws&sa=X&biw=1326&bih=1135
    fastasleep
  • Reply 9 of 91
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    cnocbui said:
    I think this project just hit a patch of black ice, skidded of the road and plunged into a ravine.

    Scratch that 'next big thing'

    How about we do a TV guys?
    of course you do, that's what you do here. when have you ever thought something positive about apple?
    patchythepirateRayz2016anantksundaramai46thepixeldocbrian greendiplication
  • Reply 10 of 91
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member

    Mr_Grey said:
    ... Apple is said to be particularly interested in BMW thanks to the company's willingness to move beyond traditional approaches to carmaking (sic) with the i3.
    I've read multiple accounts that imply that the real reason they want to "work with BMW," is because what they've come up with in their lab is so similar to the i3, that they fear lawsuits if they move forward independently.  
    youve read these accounts from whom?
    Rayz2016ai46
  • Reply 11 of 91
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    dupe
    edited January 2016 Rayz2016
  • Reply 12 of 91
    maestro64 said:

    At this point I am not sure how Apple would improve upon the user experience of driving.
    Only one pedal!
    polymniapatchythepirateaylkDeeeds
  • Reply 13 of 91
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    xzu said:
    A Apple car is kinda silly. Car tech makes sense, buying Tesla.. maybe... Build a damn desktop computer and automate the home would be awesome.
    Tesla is overpriced at this level, when the stock faces reality maybe, right now, better buy Subaru, an established car maker, with a cult following, like Apple, and with only one serious defect, lack of taste, something that Ive has in abundance.
    edited January 2016 anantksundarambrian green
  • Reply 14 of 91
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    The car in one that Marc Newson designed for Ford long time ago. The color was originally an orange and the car was named after the code of the color in the Pantone palette.
  • Reply 15 of 91
    jm6032jm6032 Posts: 147member
    tokyojimu said:
    maestro64 said:

    At this point I am not sure how Apple would improve upon the user experience of driving.

    Only one pedal!

    Well, if you're going to do that, how about a Command button on the steering wheel somewhere. Oh, wait, self driving = no steering wheel. Nevermind.
  • Reply 16 of 91
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    xzu said:
    A Apple car is kinda silly. Car tech makes sense, buying Tesla.. maybe... Build a damn desktop computer and automate the home would be awesome.
    It makes even more sense to buy BMW. BMW is cheap at $60 Billion. It even makes a large profit which Tesla may never do. Apple likes profit. BMW already makes electric cars. And BMW can mass produce cars - Tesla cannot. Tesla' cars are flawed because it hasn't made cars for long. Tesla's bugs would drive perfectionistic Apple nuts  Apple can buy BMW with only 6 months of revenue. 
    Better Subaru, is cheaper, well positioned to grow into a premium competitor if it wasn't for the derivative styling. With Ive leading the design team Subaru could go really for the premium market. Style wise it resembles the pre-Jobs Apple, but with record profits, sales and bulletproof reliability.
    brian green
  • Reply 17 of 91
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,028member
    jm6032 said:
    tokyojimu said:
    Only one pedal!

    Well, if you're going to do that, how about a Command button on the steering wheel somewhere. Oh, wait, self driving = no steering wheel. Nevermind.

    I'm sure it will support 3rd party multi-pedal interfaces as via USB & Bluetooth ;)

    Probably even the Logitech pedals that use the Unifying Receiver dongles.
  • Reply 18 of 91
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    Anyway, everybody speaking about a rumored project, that nobody knows for sure what is, at what stage, and what kind of product is being developed, vaporware at best. But hey, everybody speaks about it. Assuming is real, stopping or reducing the speed in the development of a car, or finding hurdles on it, is business as usual in the car business, the Model S was delayed several times, ditto for the Model X, or the Roadster. But you can see the same pattern in traditional car makers, the Fusion was delayed a year in its launch in Europe as the Mondeo replacement, the second gen Transit Connect was supposed to be assembled in Mexico or the US but is assembled in Spain, the same with the Escape/Kuga a vehicle supposed to be assembled in US for the american market, all in Spain again. Car making is a very complex industry, so drawbacks and delays and changes in the plans are part of the game. That assuming that the rumored car is real to begin with.

    On the other hand, if it exists, you can bet that the thing will be more stylish than that aberration on wheels that is the Google prototype, any self esteemed car guy probably would prefer to be found dead at the side of the road than seen at the helm of that hideous thing, competing with the Aztek and the first generation Ssangyong Rodius for the ugliest thing on wheels.
  • Reply 19 of 91
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    cnocbui said:
    I think this project just hit a patch of black ice, skidded of the road and plunged into a ravine.

    Scratch that 'next big thing'

    How about we do a TV guys?
    of course you do, that's what you do here. when have you ever thought something positive about apple?

    Several times a week when I appreciate how rapidly my MBPR does EVERYTHING.   This site should be renamed iOS Insider.

  • Reply 20 of 91

    Mr_Grey said:
    I've read multiple accounts that imply that the real reason they want to "work with BMW," is because what they've come up with in their lab is so similar to the i3, that they fear lawsuits if they move forward independently.  
    youve read these accounts from whom?
    It's obvious that you don't think anything could possibly be wrong with this project, or Apple for that matter. But it's pretty clear that leaks like this are coming from that review. And most likely, the reason why that chief of the project is leaving. It's possible that Ive's not making things clear and getting upset that results aren't coming.
    edited January 2016
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