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.