Apple Inc is speeding up work on a project that could lead to the California tech giant building its own electric car, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.
The iPhone and iPad vendor is tripling the number of engineers on the project, code-named Titan, and has set a “ship date” of 2019, the report said, adding that it could just be a target for engineers to sign off on the design, not necessarily when a car would be available for sale.
Apple declined to comment on the report.
While Apple has never officially confirmed it is planning to build a car, there are strong indications it is at least interested in automotive technology. In recent months, Apple has hired a number of engineers with backgrounds in automotive and battery design.
Apple representatives in May also met with officials at an automotive testing facility east of San Francisco, and last month an Apple attorney met with officials at California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to discuss the state’s regulations for self-driving cars.
“DMV often meets with various companies regarding DMV operations. The Apple meeting was to review DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations,” DMV Deputy Director Armando Botello said in an e-mail.
A number of automakers and tech firms, including Google Inc and Uber Technologies Inc, are working on technology for autonomous and electric-powered vehicles. Google announced last week that it has hired former Hyundai US CEO John Krafcik to run its self-driving car program.
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