There have been numerous signs that the Apple car, code named Project Titan, is in the works. But recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook declined to comment on rumors about the company’s secret car project in an interview with Independent.ie, even though he was not very convincing. “I don’t have anything to announce about our plans,” said Cook.
Apple car likely to arrive in 2019
However, he added that “some significant changes” will occur in the automobile industry over the next few years due to autonomous driving and electrification. He also expects to see “a lot of changes” on the user interface. Though Apple hasn’t officially revealed its car project, its recent moves suggest that the company is serious about disrupting the automobile industry.
Since the beginning of this year, Apple has hired hundreds of automotive, battery technology, and artificial intelligence experts. It’s been widely reported that the Cupertino company and German automaker BMW were collaborating on an electric car. Tim Cook visited BMW headquarters last year. However, BMW later said the discussions were not about car development and production.
The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Apple had changed the status of Project Titan to “committed,” and was targeting a 2019 release date. The iPhone maker has filed permits for an “auto work area” near Cupertino. It is also believed to have created two shell companies, Faraday Future and Sixty Eight Research, to hide in plain sight.
Apple using shell companies for its car project?
Experts argue that Apple may not be able to keep such a massive car project a secret, so it is using shell companies. Last month, Sixty Eight Research attended a major automobile industry conference in Germany. Unsurprisingly, it was the only US company at the event that was not a well-established automaker or component supplier. Sixty Eight Research has been operating out of verifiable Apple-run offices.
Jefferies & Co analysts recently said in a research note that Apple car will have an “average price” of around $55,000. The vehicle is expected to be launched at multiple price points, with the top-end costing over $100,000.