An Apple Car is still between 5-7 years away from hitting the road, with a “small team” working on the project at Cupertino, according to a new report.
Bloomberg sources say the Apple hardware engineers are currently working on drive systems, vehicle interior and external bodywork designs “with the goal of eventually shipping a vehicle.”
While Apple had previously focused its intentions on creating a self driving system that could potentially be licensed to auto manufacturers, Bloomberg sources now say Apple is now focused on a “more ambitious goal” of launching a fully fledged self-driving electric car.
To aid the goal, Apple has also hired a host of ex-Tesla executives, the sources say. Many of those, presumably, would have massive experience in bringing an electric vehicle with autonomous capabilities to market.
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Regardless, the delivery of the vehicle will be well beyond the previously-tipped date of 2024, if Apple finally green lights the major project. The report, from noted Apple reporter Mark Gurman states:
“Still, some Apple engineers on the project believe the company could release a product in five to seven years if Apple goes ahead with its plans. The car is nowhere near production stage, the people said, though they did warn timelines could change.”
The sources say Apple would likely outsource the manufacturing of its vehicles, as it does with its iPhone smartphones and Mac computers. There’s no news on which company Apple would hand the responsibility to as yet.
The report goes on to explain how the Apple Car would be different from Tesla motors and others from the likes of Mercedes and Chevrolet. Gurman continues:
“A key differentiator would be Apple’s ability to integrate its self-driving system, a pricey initiative that has spurred the company to develop its own software, sensor hardware and chip technologies. The goal is to let a user to input their destination and be driven there with little or no other engagement, according to the people familiar with the project.”
Whichever route Apple decides to take, it’s going to be a while before Tim Cook takes the stage to reveal perhaps the most significant “one more thing” in Apple’s long and illustrious history.