According to undisclosed sources, Apple Inc. pledged to allocate more willpower and resources to building an semi-autonomous, electric car, which is slated to be shipped in 2019.
Same sources said that the company more that tripled the team that is currently working at a driverless car project dubbed Titan. The construction of the car stalled because of legal hurdles and debates with regulators Apple had to put up with.
Although, the members of the Titan project team are specialized in building fully autonomous electric vehicles, the Cupertino-based company doesn’t plan to roll out a fully driverless car in 2019. That may happen in the future but after the official release date, people familiar with the matter added.
And Apple may take the electric car industry by storm because it has an extensive expertise in designing sleek hardware, user-friendly software, lasting batteries and ultra sensitive sensors among others.
Apple declined to comment on the rumors.
Unlike traditional car makers, Apple uses partners to build its devices such as Taiwan-based Foxconn who manufactures the company’s iPhones. Conventional car makers have their own plants, while for niche cars they some times agree to get a partner.
But getting an electric car ready to roll by 2019 is ambitious even for Apple, especially because the tech giant doesn’t have the necessary experience. Plus, after the vehicle is ready, a cohort of tests needs to be done to make sure that the car is commercially viable.
But Apple mentioned a ‘ship date’ which may not be the equivalent of a date where customers will be able to buy the car. And ship date deadlines are often missed especially in projects of this size. Inner sources said that some members of the team do not believe that the car would reach showrooms by 2019.
Moreover, the international context makes electric car makers’ lives even more complicated. Low gas prices make people opt for traditional cars, and sales from Tesla Motors and Nissan Motor Co experienced a sudden slump.
But the greenhouse gas emission limitations set worldwide force the automotive industry to invest more in green cars. So, by 2019 when Apple-branded electric car would make its debut, the automotive industry may have already rolled out long-range electric versions of their famous models.
Analysts estimate that Apple has a chance between 50 percent and 50 percent of developing an electric car. Additionally, market analysts hope that the new car would feature an unique design, compatibility with the company’s gadgets, and limited autonomous ability.
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