Apple’s self-driving car was recently spotted by the CEO of a self-driving car start-up called Voyage. Co-founder MacCallister Higgins got up close with one of Apple’s Lexus RX450h’s that’s outfitted with a monstrous new sensor array. The short video posted to Twitter shows Apple’s project has made some serious strides in the last few months.
It seems that research for Apple’s automotive “Project Titan” is picking up speed, with a newly published report claiming Cupertino has opened a small R&D office in Berlin — with the sole purpose of inventing the electric car of the future.
The new Apple car facility employs between 15 and 20 “top-class” employees, many of whom have previously worked in Germany’s buoyant automotive industry. Skills include everything from creating software to mechanical engineering and sales expertise.
But a new report claims that Apple’s car investigations are continuing to progress — as Apple buys up and leases various buildings in Sunnyvale, with documents filed with the city suggesting that these will be used for automotive R&D.
Apple VP Steve Zadesky was personally tapped by Tim Cook to lead Project Titan. But it looks like the so-called Apple Car will need to come to market under a new leader, as Zadesky is planning on leaving the company after 16 years.
Apple has already scooped up a cadre of automotive experts for its not-so-secret electric car project, and it appears the company just added one more Tesla Motors engineer to its growing roster.
Jamie Carlson, a senior engineer from Tesla, appears to have joined Apple’s Project Titan. His most recent LinkedIn posting that reveals he’s been working on “Special Projects” at Apple since August 2015.
Apple’s secret electric car project won’t be hitting highways for at least another five years (if ever), but that’s not stopping concept artists from dreaming up what a Project Titan vehicle might look like.
The folks at Freelancer held an Apple concept car contest this week, with the winner taking home a $1,500 prize. Top honors went to this semi-autonomous electric car concept from Aristomenis Tsirbas that oozes with Apple’s traditional minimalist design. Other features include custom LED head and tail lights, and discreet hatch doors that open laterally.
Apple’s autonomous car project is certainly exciting for Apple fans. It’s likely to be a while longer before the company is ready to officially launch what it’s been working on, however.
That’s according to a new “Disengagement Report” which covers the period December 2017 through November 2018. It refers to instances in which self-driving vehicles being tested on California roads had to pass control back to the human driver behind the wheel.