Apple Aiming To Have Its Electric Car Ready By 2019

Apple is putting the pedal to the metal in its quest to join the electric car market, ramping up its work on the “committed project” it hopes to have finalized in 2019, according to a new report.

The Wall Street Journal cites one of those handy insiders, saying the company picked up the pace on working on its branded car (the iCar, perhaps?) after spending more than a year investigating whether it could pull it off.

Leaders of the project — codename “Titan” — have been given the go-ahead to triple the 600-person team, with the target ship date in 2019. Despite the fact that Apple has been bringing in experts in driverless cars, its first vehicle probably won’t be fully autonomous. That’s something it’ll save for the future, sources told the WSJ.

Further details are hazy — does Apple have a manufacturing partner in mind to actually build the cars? After all, Apple doesn’t build and run the factories that make iPhones or iPads.

It also remains to be seen if Apple will be able to churn out an electric car in less than four years, especially since it’s new to the automaking game. Once it’s completed final designs and made prototypes, any new car would then face a barrage of tests before regulatory agencies approve it for sale.

The WSJ notes that the term “ship date” in this case doesn’t necessarily mean that’s when customers would start receiving their cars, but could indicate the date engineers give final approval to the product’s main features.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment to the WSJ, but last week when Stephen Colbert asked CEO Tim Cook about the company’s desire for a driverless car, he told the late-night talk show host that Apple looks at “a number of things along the way,” and that they “decide to really put our energies in a few of them.”

Apple Speeds Up Electric-Car Work [Wall Street Journal]

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