Ulrich Kranz, who once developed electric cars for auto-giant BMW, has reportedly been hired by Apple. He’ll become an important part of the Mac-maker’s ongoing efforts to create a self-driving Apple car.
The former BMW exec was hired recently, according to Bloomberg. Previously, Kranz headed up development of the BMW i3 electric car. And the BMW i8, a a plug-in hybrid sports car, too. Most recently, he’d been CEO of Canoo, a startup building electric vehicles.
An Apple Car in the garage… someday
“Kranz is one of Apple’s most significant automotive hires, a clear sign that the iPhone maker is determined to build a self-driving electric car to rival Tesla Inc. and other carmakers,” reported Bloomberg.
But he’s not the first auto expert brought into the project. Just so far in 2021, Apple hired Porsche’s head of chassis development to work on the hardware. And Tesla’s chief of autonomous vehicle software development joined Apple’s secretive project, too.
Apple has been hard at work on a self-driving vehicle since 2014. Prototypes have been in testing for years. Even if CEO Tim Cook won‘t publicly commit to releasing anything.
And while it might seem like an odd jump from desktop computers and phones to a self-driving Apple car, Cook explained it in a recent interview by saying, “If you sort of step back, the car, in a lot of ways, is a robot. An autonomous car is a robot. And so there’s lots of things you can do with autonomy.”