Let the Apple Car rumors rise like the phoenix from the ashes. Apple has received a permit to test autonomous cars in California, “the first official confirmation that the maker of the iPhone sees the century-old automobile as a product that's ripe for reinvention and a reflection of its need to tap new markets to sustain its growth,” according to Business Insider.
The California DMV updated its website on Friday, adding Apple to 29 other companies testing self-driving vehicles in the state, including Tesla and Google. This is “confirmation that Apple continues to work on a self-driving car, which the company has not previously discussed in public or confirmed beyond an advisory letter to the NHTSA in December,” says Business Insider. (Couldn’t it also be possible that Apple is working with another auto-maker on a self-driving, CarPlay-equipped vehicle rather than making the entire vehicle itself?)
In case you haven’t heard all the speculation about an Apple Car, I’ll give you an update. From 2015:
The Wall Street Journal says Apple’s car project is code-named “Titan.” Bloomberg Business claims that Apple, “which has been working secretly on a car, is pushing its team to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020.” 9to5Mac has compiled a list of automotive experts hired by Apple and says “it’s clear Apple’s ambitions go well beyond just its iOS-based CarPlay in-dash system.” BGR notes any “Applemobile” will likely be an electric car of some kind, especially given Apple CEO Tim Cook’s dedication to expanding the use of greener energy.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is among companies looking for large expanses of real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area for their autonomous-car operations. Quoting Victor Coleman, chief executive of Hudson Pacific Properties,the articleApple is looking for an 800,000 square foot facilities. The WSJ added that the tech company is s in the process of expanding a team that had about 600 employees last year, “according to people familiar with the matter.”
Apple is “rethinking” what it plans to do about self-driving cars, reports The New York Times. The company has shuttered parts of its “Apple Car” project and laid off dozens of employees, the article adds quoting three unnamed “people briefed on the move who were not allowed to speak about it publicly.” Keep in mind that the company has never confirmed any automotive plans beyond its CarPlay initiative.
So is Apple working on its own auto or not? Time will tell, but I’m personally betting against it.