Earlier this year, a senior Ford executive welcomed the much-rumored Apple car aka Project Titan. Now Ford CEO Mark Fields says that he see the upcoming Apple car as an opportunity rather than a threat. In an interview with BBC, he said Ford’s future competitors may not be General Motors or Chrysler, but Apple and Google. That gives him the motivation to keep innovating, and focus not only on the product but also on the overall experience that the user has interacting with Ford’s products and services.
Apple car to disrupt mobility market
The Michigan-based company has set up a technology center in the heart of Silicon Valley to work on self-driving cars. A few days ago, reports surfaced that Apple’s talks with BMW and Daimler to co-develop cars had fallen apart. The Cupertino company has setup a secret lab in Berlin to develop innovative technologies and explore partnerships with European automakers. Apple is rumored to partner with Magna Styer for manufacturing its cars.
Last week, it was reported that Apple had hired Chris Porritt, the former Tesla VP of vehicle engineering. Technology companies like Apple and Google have identified “mobility” as a potential market. The traditional car industry is worth roughly $2 trillion worldwide. It goes up to $4.5 trillion if you add up other forms of road transport like buses, bikes, taxis, coaches, etc.
Ford won’t enter into contract manufacturing
Fields told BBC that there are a lot of things that Ford can do on its own in the domain of connected cars and Internet of Things. It may also have to collaborate with other technology companies. But Fields ruled out the possibility of Ford entering into “contract manufacturing.” The company could partner with Google or another technology firm for joint projects.
Apple has hired more than 1,000 engineers and battery technology experts from across the globe to work on the Project Titan. According to various reports, the company has purchased or leased several real estate properties in Silicon Valley to design, develop and test the Apple car, which is expected to be an electric car with autonomous driving capabilities.