Apple may be working on a car after all. A partnership between Apple and China’s biggest battery manufacturer is all about developing an electric car battery, according to a new report.
Apple was long rumored to be working on an autonomous vehicle under the code name Project Titan. But recent signals from Cupertino made it look like the tech company was downshifting its automotive ambitions, focusing on software rather than building an actual electric car.
Business news site YiCai Global broke the story about Apple “secretly working” with Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. The site quoted an unnamed source that said the two companies have a confidentiality agreement regarding battery development.
“If Apple is working with CATL on a battery, the possibility that Apple will continue to make cars cannot be ruled out as one of the core components of self-driving electric cars is the battery,” Wu Hui, new energy director for CCID Consulting, told YiCai Global.
Neither company commented on the report. The unnamed source gave no other details.
Apple unveiled CarPlay, its version of iOS designed for cars, in 2014. Cupertino partnered with carmakers Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz to feature the operating system in their vehicles. Other carmakers soon followed in integrating CarPlay with vehicle computer systems.
Over the last couple of years, Apple reportedly recruited engineers away from carmakers to form a research and development team that at one point numbered about 1,000 people.
In October, Cult of Mac reported hundreds of Project Titan team members either abandoning Apple or getting layoff notices.
Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg the company is focusing on autonomous systems and referred to its efforts as “the mother of all AI projects.”