For over two years, rumor mills have been reporting on the development of the Apple Car, the Cupertino tech giant’s alleged autonomous passenger electric vehicle (EV). A very different project than its existing product lineup.
Therefore, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is skeptical if Apple Car will ever see the light of the day and he believes, Apple’s role in the automobile industry will stretch to providing software services like CarPlay only.
According to sources, the tech giant revived Project Titan in 2020 to develop its first EV with revolutionary battery technology which would deliver longer range and better power consumption. Patents filed at the U.S. Trademark Office not only confirmed that the company was designing different technologies for its EV, but also revealed that Apple Car would have LiDAR scanners, external LED and AR displays, a smart sunroof, a large-scale MagSafe charging system, and more.
The Cupertino tech giant is likely to focus on delivering advanced CarPlay tech instead of producing an Apple Car
Previously in 2020, Diess commented that he welcomed Apple as a competitor in the automobile industry and was “looking forward” to Apple Car. According to AppleInsider, he wrote that the most valuable company in the world will be a mobility company like Apple, Tesla, or Volkswagen AG.
“We look forward to new competitors who will certainly accelerate the transformation of our industry and bring in new skills. The incredible valuation [of Apple] and thus the virtually unlimited access to resources instills a lot of respect in us.
A real challenge – dimensions larger than that within our industry (e.g. Toyota Motor Corporation) I have already said: The most valuable company in the world will again be a mobility company – it can be Tesla, Apple or Volkswagen AG.”
However, only two years after, Diess revised his estimation. Speaking at the hub.berlin technology conference in Berlin, he expressed doubts if Apple would eventually launch cars in the market but expects the tech giant to introduce “cockpit” services like CarPlay. Reuters reports:
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said on Wednesday he was not sure Apple (AAPL.O) planned to produce cars but that the California-based company certainly wanted to provide software for cockpits.
“I’m not sure if Apple will actually bring cars to the market in the end. It would be a big effort,” Diess said at the start of the hub.berlin technology conference in Berlin, adding he was certain Apple wants to enter the car cockpit market with software.
Although the design and capabilities of the Apple Car appear to be in place, the tech giant is finding it difficult to wrinkle out its supply chain. Reportedly, after several failed negotiations with car manufacturers like Kia, and Nissan, the tech giant has resolved to produce the EV in-house.
But recently, tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo hinted that the Apple Car project is facing delays due to the team’s lack of interest and mismanagement. While several senior engineers of Project Titan have departed, veterans like Desi Ujkashevic have joined the project and the tech giant has allegedly partnered with a South Korean company to develop an autopilot processor for its EV.