Apple’s top brass has given its electric car project, code-named Titan, the thumbs up to charge ahead, pointing to a target ship date in 2019.

DH Kass, Senior Contributing Blogger

September 22, 2015

2 Min Read
Report: Apple Full Speed Ahead on Electric Car

Apple’s (AAPL) top brass has given its electric car project, code-named Titan, the thumbs up to charge ahead, pointing to a target ship date in 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The full-speed ahead nod came after a year of feasibility testing the concept of an Apple-branded car, the report said.

Apple’s electric car project is headed by Steve Zadesky, a 16-year Apple veteran who joined the company in 1999 to work on the iPod and later the iPhone. Zadesky, whose background includes a three-year stint as a Ford engineer, has the go-ahead to hire a 1,000 person team to work on the electric car, including recruiting Apple employees from other parts of the company, according to reports.

The Journal’s report indicated that Zadesky now has been green-lighted to triple the existing 600-person team dedicated to Project Titan. The decision to ramp up signals Apple is convinced that it can capitalize on the revenue opportunity to transform the automobile industry with mobile technology.

Apple has steadily bumped up its executive ranks on its automobile project. In August, it hired Jamie Carlson, a Tesla firmware engineer since 2013, to work on software “special projects,” making a total of at least nine software and systems engineers in the last year to join the vendor’s budding group of automobile experts.

A month earlier Apple reportedly hired Doug Betts, former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV global quality leader, in an unspecified operations capacity. Betts, whose automobile industry background also includes Nissan and Toyota, left his Chrysler job last October, the day after a Consumer Reports study showing the reliability of the Chrysler brand had declined. Betts had been Chrysler’s top quality boss since 2009, soon after the car maker exited from bankruptcy.

In addition to Betts, Apple previously hired Paul Furgale, formerly deputy director of the Autonomous Systems Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and a noted vehicle researcher.

Apple’s lineup of car-automated experts reportedly includes Megan McClain, an ex-Volkswagen engineer, Vinay Palakkode, a former Carnegie Mellon University graduate researcher possibly working on automated driving research, and Xianqiao Tong, a former Nvidia (NVDA) engineer.

Earlier hires include Sanjai Massey, a former Ford engineer, Stefan Weber, an ex-Bosch engineer and Lech Szumilas, a former Delphi research scientist, the report said.

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About the Author(s)

DH Kass

Senior Contributing Blogger, The VAR Guy

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