Apple car has been in the rumor mill for over a year. And the latest piece of evidence lends credibility to those rumors. Earlier this summer, the Cupertino company hired Rónán Ó Braonáin, an automotive engineer with extensive experience in the electric vehicle industry. According to his LinkedIn profile, spotted by Electrek.co, Rónán most recently worked at Reviver, which claims to have created the world’s first “digital license plate.”
A ‘secret agent’ at Apple Special Projects
He currently works as a “Secret Agent” at Apple Special Projects, according to his LinkedIn profile. It has fueled rumors that he is part of the Project Titan team, the code name for the Apple car. Prior to Reviver, Braonáin served as CTO at Vision Fleet, an EV fleet management software solutions company. Before that, he was a software engineer at German automaker BMW.
During his stint at BMW, Rónán Ó Braonáin was involved in the development of connected car apps. He also developed BMW’s portfolio of sustainable mobility and electric vehicle software. At Reviver, he oversaw the development of Slate, an Internet-connected digital license plate. He was at Riviver for only five months, which indicates that Rónán could be applying his expertise on the Apple car project.
What a digital license plate could do in Apple car?
An Internet-connected digital license plate could monitor maintenance records, vehicle location, and send out messages in real-time. The system could also send payments for parking and toll fees, and reduce the need for physical stickers. Braonáin is just one of the hundreds of people with car-related expertise Apple has hired since last year. It has been poaching top talent from Tesla, Panasonic, Volkswagen, Chrysler, NVIDIA, Ford, and others.
Apple car is rumored to be an electric vehicle with autonomous driving technology. The company has sped up the development process, and aims to bring its car to the market by 2019. Last month, Jefferies & Co analysts said Apple car would cost close to $55,000. The research firm estimates that Apple could sell as many as 200,000 units in the first year of launch.