According to sources, Apple has shifted its plans from developing a car to developing self-driving technology for cars. One of the hires Apple has done in regards to this change is Dan Dodge, who joined Apple earlier this year. Dodge was the former head of BlackBerry’s automotive software division and former founder and CEO of QNX.
So all those rumors about Apple producing a car may not be entirely accurate, but there is plenty of truth in Apple working on ‘Project Titan’ to develop self-driving technology. According to Bloomberg, Bob Mansfield is heading the project with a software team, a sensors group and a team of hardware engineers. Bob Mansfield was the former Senior Vice President of Technologies at Apple and left that position in 2013 only to return and take over Apple’s car project.
With the focus on developing self-driving technology, Apple’s plans to build a car have taken a back seat but not entirely abandoned. Unforeseen issues and technical problems have delayed the scheduled release of Apple’s car design by 2020. Hence, Apple is now willing to take a different route to making a car. The company will either partner with a car marker or buy an established brand to build its automobile.
Since Apple has not made anything official, we never know, the company might surprise us with the announcement of building a car itself. Besides employing engineers from automobile companies, last year Apple hired Todd Gray from Ford who built the systems to manufacture aluminum body of F-150 truck. Apple also hired Aindrea Campbell, also from Ford, who was a manager of body construction engineering team.
Projects like Titan are all part of Apple’s research and development department working on producing innovative products. They also highlight the company’s conscious shift from only being a manufacturer to digital services provider and more. Although sales of Apple’s products have stirred a concern by showing a downward graph for two consecutive quarters, the revenue generated by digital services has shown a promising increase.
Sales from digital services are generating more revenue for the Tech giant than sales of iPad or Mac. With 33% increase over past two years, Apple made $5.9 billion from sales its digital services like iCloud, App Store, Apple Music and Apple Pay. Time will tell if Apple takes a similar route with Project Titan.