The Apple Car: An R&D Project, or Future Tesla Competitor?

What do you do when your company has a market cap of around $700 billion and you’ve just broken records with sales of your hottest product?

You do something else; something you haven’t done before. Because, at this point, why not? You’ve really got nothing to lose.

That’s just got to be the sentiment at Apple right now; who, in addition to getting into wearables, payments, high-priced end headphones, and whatever else — has, reportedly, been working on an electric car for several months (at least).

Image via gadgethelpline.com

The Wall Street Journal published a report yesterday detailing a (now) not-so-secret project at Apple, nicknamed ‘Titan’, which reportedly has hundreds of employees building a “minivan” electric concept car for the company. Hours before, a Financial Times report detailed recent Apple hirings of automobile experts for a “top-secret project” (note: this FT article is behind a pay-wall).

Will the Apple Car be a future competitor to Tesla in the electric automobile space? That’s a big maybe. Sure, electric cars are hot (and, more importantly, essential to the survival of our planet); but, there’s a chance this will never see the light of day.

As some will recall, Apple has been working since early 2014 on CarPlay, it’s in-dash software platform. It’s absolutely fathomable that the company’s ‘Titan’ project is little-more than some R&D for CarPlay (self-driving, perhaps?); or, as originally reported by Business Insider, maybe the minivan is just a “streetview” camera car for Apple Maps?

While the latter is an unlikely scenario based on recent hirings at Apple (a Mashable report cites that a LinkedIn search reveals the company is now the home to at least 46 former Tesla employees), the former — a self-driving feature built-in to CarPlay — is certainly feasible.

Though, I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Apple was indeed working on an electric automobile to challenge the likes of Tesla (I sure wouldn’t). Just last year, Apple board member Mickey Drexler revealed that, had Steve Jobs lived longer, he would have been interested in working on an “iCar” of his own. Even with Tim Cook forging ahead with creating his own legacy at Apple, he & Jobs have had similar visions before. And, now, with a boatload of cash & a new product line on the horizon, Cook might just be thinking of ways to further expand the business in 2016 and beyond.

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