It has been more than 12 months since rumors came out that Apple is developing an electric car. With recent investments and hirings of the company, many tech experts believe iCar, codenamed Project Titan, will be released very soon. Now, here's what is currently known about the Apple Car's release date, rumors and update.
A report from BBC states that the Cupertino-based company has invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, an Uber-like app based in China. The investment reportedly gives Apple access to the app's goldmine of information. Estimates show the firm provides more than 11 million rides a day and controls roughly 87% of the Chinese market share.
With that $1 billion investment, Tim Stevens of CNET believes Apple will use Didi Chuxing's data to develop a self-driving electric car. In August 2015, Apple officials talked with the California Department of Motor Vehicles to discuss "autonomous vehicle regulations," as per reports from the Guardian.
Furthermore, Apple has made some major hirings from the automotive industry since last year. One of the high-profile recruits is Chris Porritt, former vice-president of vehicle engineering at Tesla and chief engineer at Aston Martin. Other hiring includes Jonathan Cohen, an expert in artificial intelligence and former Director of Deep Learning in Nvidia. The tech giant also recruited Doug Betts, former vice president of Chrysler Group.
Apple also hired Kurt Adelberger, a former Google engineer. Adelberger reportedly filed a patent last month for an electric vehicle charging system.
International Business Times published Apple aims to purchase "large expanses of real estate" to test the rumored iCar in the San Francisco Bay area. The report added Mercedes and Tesla are also interested in making a similar investment for their own car projects.
Interestingly, several Apple-owned buildings across Sunnyvale, located near the company's main campus, are allegedly developing the electric cars. In fact, some residents hear "motor noises" from one of the firm's buildings late at night, prompting them to write to local officials to complain.
"Even with the windows closed I could still hear it," one of the residents say.
As of now, details about Apple's electric are still scarce that we're left speculating and pondering about the project. But if Apple will really join the automotive industry, it could shake things up a little bit. With recent developments in Tesla's Model 3, the forthcoming electric car from Apple has to boast awesome features. Stay tuned with Gospel Herald for more updates.