Apple turns car ambitions toward self-driving system

By

CarPlay
Your next car probably won't have an Apple logo.
Photo: Hyundai

As Apple’s “secret” electric car project gains momentum, the company continues to pick up top talent for their automotive experience.

Its latest hire is Dan Dodge, founder and former CEO of QNX, who was recently the head of BlackBerry’s automotive software team. The move comes after “Project Titan,” the codename for Apple Car, started to take a whole new direction.

Dodge joined BlackBerry in 2010 when the Canadian company acquired QNX for its software, and then-CEO Thorsten Heins made him lead software architect not only for the QNX division, but also for the slowly dying BlackBerry 10.

Dodge announced in September 2015 that he would retire at the end of the year, but it seems that didn’t last long. According to Bloomberg, Dodge is now working at Apple, where he is part of the Project Titan team now headed up by Bob Mansfield.

Since Mansfield took over, Apple’s car plans have reportedly taken a very different path. Although Apple hasn’t ruled out building its own vehicle, it is now said to be focused on technologies that might power others instead.

“The initiative is now prioritizing the development of an autonomous driving system, though it’s not abandoning efforts to design its own vehicle,” Bloomberg explains. “That leaves options open should the company eventually decide to partner with or acquire an established car maker, rather than build a car itself.”

Apple still has hundreds of engineers dedicated to Project Titan, according to people familiar with the matter. Its original plan was to bring a car to market by 2019, but recent rumors say that launch date has now been pushed back to 2021.