Project Titan, the Apple automotive effort, has been working on a self-driving vehicle sporadically since 2014, working from scratch. Apple hasn’t always kept up with it, sometimes drawing back to focus more on the software the company is known for, Reuters reported.
In 2018, Apple veteran Doug Field, who had worked at Tesla, returned to the project and laid off 190 people from the team the next year, Reuters reported. Since then, Project Titan has progressed, and Apple now feels confident moving forward to build a vehicle for consumers, although the plans haven’t been made public yet.
One central part of the new technology could be a battery design that would work to reduce the costs of batteries overall and boost the range of the vehicles, Reuters reported, citing sources.
Despite Apple’s wealth and status as one of the world’s biggest tech companies, it has never made a car, so this new idea will require some work on supply chains, Reuters reported. The company may rely on a manufacturing partner for building the vehicles. In addition, pandemic-related delays may end up pushing back the company’s potential debut to 2025 or later.
“If there is one company on the planet that has the resources to do that, it’s probably Apple. But at the same time, it’s not a cellphone,” said a person who worked on Project Titan, according to Reuters.
In terms of going back to normal once the pandemic eases up, many drivers say they’ll be more enthusiastic about resuming long commutes to work if they have connected cars. PYMNTS reported that many drivers say they’d like to be more in control of what time they arrive at work. A survey also indicated that only around 30 percent of people own a connected car right now, and many of them would want more connectivity the more they had to drive.