Apple is focusing on driverless technology rather than a fully electric vehicle, according to new reports.
The American technology company has long been rumoured to be developing its own electric vehicle but has remained tight-lipped on any official details. It’s now emerged that Dan Dodge, the former head of Blackberry’s automotive software division, has been signed up to work on the project, the latest of a number of appointments from the car world.
According to sources interviewed by Bloomberg, Dodge’s appointment shows a change of strategy from Apple as it focuses efforts on developing a self-driving system, giving it the option of partnering with an existing car maker, rather than building a car itself – although the latter option is still being investigated.
Other automotive staffing additions at Apple include several former Tesla employees and two Ford engineers – Todd Gray and Aindrea Campbell – who have experience in building aluminium-bodied vehicles.
Codenamed Project Titan, Apple’s automotive venture is being headed up by Bob Mansfield, Apple’s former chief of hardware, who was tempted back from retirement to tackle the role after the departure of Steve Zadesky at the start of 2016. The Wall Street Journal has claimed that hundreds of Apple engineers are working on Titan, but there have been rumours the venture has been hit by technical delays and numerous staffing changes amid confusion over the project’s direction.
Sources have previously suggested that Apple is aiming to deliver a vehicle to market by 2020 or 2021.