Cupertino poaches Porsche chassis expert for Apple car

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The Apple Car could be partially designed by a man who designed this Porsche.
A man who helped design this Porsche is allegedly now working on the Apple Car.
Photo: Porsche

Apple reportedly hired Manfred Harrer for its top-secret self-driving vehicle project. It’s a telling move because Harrer previously was head of chassis development at Porsche. This is a clear sign that the Mac-maker is planning an Apple car, not simply an autonomous vehicle system to be licensed to automakers.

“The Americans have recruited the long-standing head of chassis development at Porsche for the construction of their own car,” reports Business Insider Deutschland in a machine translation. “Cayenne boss Dr. Manfred Harrer (48) was considered one of the best engineers in the Volkswagen Group.”

Experts predict the Apple car will sport a rather large price tag. That’s not surprising, as it’s not only going to be an electric vehicle but also one that’s fully autonomous — not something that’s available now. Buyers are likely to expect something of Porsche-level quality.

It’s an Apple car, not a software system

Work on Apple’s autonomous car, supposedly under the Project Titan name, started around 2014. But reports in 2019 indicated the project hit some speed bumps. Layoffs were rumored, and the goal allegedly was downshifted to just making underlying autonomous driving technology, not an actual vehicle.

But a slew of recent reports indicate Apple wants to build something it can put in showrooms. Bringing in Harrer is just the latest. Apple is supposedly working with Hyundai on production. And that could begin in 2024 in the Kia Motors factory in Georgia.

The software side isn’t being overlooked, either. Tesla’s head of autonomous vehicle software development recently joined Apple’s secret car project, for example.

Via: Business Insider