The Apple car coming in 2019, rumors say


Apple’s plans to get into the car business – supposedly code-named Project Titan – are taking on a firmer shape, according to an article in Information Week. It lists the top eight Apple car rumors floating through the automotive and high tech communities. Number one on the hit parade is a supposedly leaked target date of 2019 for the launch. That’s considered ambitious in automotive terms, where development cycles can run as long as a decade or more. But not so crazy in Silicon Valley, either from the point of view of product timelines measured in weeks and months, or in terms of what a release date three or four years out means: wishful thinking.

Rumors include meetings with auto executives and regulators, a binge of automotive talent hiring, a phased development plan – electronic cars with drivers first, autonomous ones later – and moves by competitors

Apple’s bid to be the next major force in the automobile industry is not being waged alone. Google, Tesla, Nissan, and others are all in the electric vehicle and self-driving car game. The latest round of testing for Google’s self-driving car will bring the company’s vehicles to the streets of Austin, the Texas capital. Google is also getting ready to start introducing its autonomous vehicles to a wider audience, and has hired several former auto executives to help with the sales pitch.

Broadband connectivity – both mobile and fiber (if for no other reason than mobile backhaul) – is as necessary for self driving cars as roads, so it’s no surprise that Google is looking at Austin as a testing ground, where it owns it own infrastructure.

About Steve Blum

Steve Blum is president of Tellus Venture Associates, a management, planning and business development consultancy for municipal and community broadband initiatives. He is a 30-year industry veteran and an expert in developing new broadband infrastructure and services, including wireless, fiber optic and satellite systems. His career includes playing key roles in the launch and growth of DirecTv in the U.S., as well as other satellite broadcasting platforms around the world. For the past ten years, he has helped build municipal wireless and fiber optic broadband systems. His client list includes many California cities, such as San Leandro, Palo Alto, Oakland, Los Angeles, Lompoc and Folsom. He’s a member of the executive team for the Central Coast Broadband Consortium and has worked with other regional consortia in California. Steve is the author of seven books on the Internet and satellite broadcasting and is a frequent contributor to professional journals and industry events. He holds an A.B. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in East Asia Studies from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. He is a triathlete and multiple Ironman finisher, and is currently ranked in the top 100 of the Challenge Triathlon world rankings, out of more than 30,000 athletes.