Back in February of 2015, numerous Dodge Caravan minivans were spotted on roads around the Bay Area sporting comprehensive devices on the roof, including what was thought to be LiDAR and electronic camera gear, according to AppleInsider. The DMV later validated that Apple was leasing the vehicles in question, sustaining speculation that the tech giant was checking new autonomous technology. Apple later acknowledged it was undoubtedly using the vans for advancement, however stated the equipment was for mapping purposes, rather than self-driving tech.
Obviously, comprehensive, extremely comprehensive maps are required for autonomous car performance, but the story died all the very same.
That altered about a week later on, when Business Insider posted a report stating it received an e-mail from a confidential Apple staff member who claimed the company was currently in the midst of establishing a product that would “offer Tesla run for its cash,” adding that Tesla staff members were “leaping ship” to deal with Apple on a job that was “too exciting to miss.”
However it was the Wall Street Journal that made the greatest claim of all, following business Insider article with its own report that asserted Apple was indeed privately developing an electrical car, with “several hundred staff members” tasked with the development of a vehicle that “looks like a minivan.” According to the Wall Street Journal’s unnamed source, the new endeavor carried the code word “Project Titan.”
The Financial Times likewise backed the claim, reporting that Apple was “hiring professionals in automotive technology and vehicle style to operate at a new top-secret research laboratory.”
Numerous months later on, the Wall Street Journal issued another report, this time saying Apple was doubling down on its car development efforts, upgrading Project Titan to a “committed” status with a conclusion date set for 2019.
Contributing to the speculation were rumors that Apple was speaking to the DMV about autonomous car guidelines, while likewise searching for test grounds around the Bay Area for autonomous vehicle advancement, and holding conferences with electric vehicle charge station companies.
In an interview with Independent.ie late last year, Apple’s existing CEO, Tim Cook, was inquired about the company’s alleged electrical car advancement. His action speaks volumes: “I don’t have anything to announce about our strategies. But I believe there are some substantial changes in the automobile industry over the next several years with electrification and autonomous driving. And there’s a requirement for a focus on a user interface. And so I believe there’s a lot of changes that will go on there.”
According to Business Insider, Cook dealt with the issue once again at the annual Apple investor’s conference this past February, saying, “Do you remember when you were a kid, and Christmas Eve it was so interesting, you weren’t sure what was going to be downstairs? Well, it’s going to be Christmas Eve for a while.”