The Apple car team is believed to have attended a major automobile industry event in Germany last month. The Cupertino company is reportedly looking to bring its car to the market by 2020. A report from 9to5Mac suggests that Apple is using a mysterious company in California to mask the development of its electric car. Sixty Eight Research, which describes itself as an “innovative” company that is “redefining market research,” attended the 17th Global Car Body Benchmarking Conference between Oct. 20 and Oct.22 in Germany.
What’s Sixty Eight Research?
Earlier this year, Apple Insider revealed that Sixty Eight Research is connected to Apple. In fact, sources told the publication that the “market research” firm housed Apple’s Project Titan team at its office located in Sunnyvale, just minutes away from Apple’s 1 Infinite Loop office. Sixty Eight Research operates out of verifiable Apple-run offices.
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The conference was attended by almost every major automobile company including Honda, General Motors and BMW. Major component suppliers such as Alcoa and Magna also attended the event. However, Sixty Eight Research was the only American company at the event that was not a major supplier. Sixty Eight is a tiny company with a single small office and little sign of activity.
Over 1,000 engineers working on Apple car out of its Sunnyvale office
Earlier this year, there were rumors that Apple was in talks with BMW to license some futuristic technology. This is the conference where automakers and component suppliers come together to discuss new technologies for car body manufacturing, painting and assembly. It is still unclear whether the Apple car would be manufactured in-house or the Cupertino company will outsource it to an established manufacturer.
The Cupertino company has hired more than 1,000 engineers from Ford, Tesla, Panasonic and others since last year. Sources told Apple Insider that most of them were working out of the company’s Sunnyvale campus. Jefferies & Co analysts expect the Apple car to be priced at $55,000. The company may also launch premium variants of Apple car at a higher price tag. The Apple car is rumored to be an electric vehicle with autonomous driving capabilities.