In a recently released report from the Wall Street Journal, there are claims that Apple’s rumored electric car could see a release as soon as 2019. That’s still some ways off but remarkably soon for a company with absolutely no experience engineering and building vehicles to expect to roll out their first car. While there have been rumors and reports for many months regarding the somewhat secretive Apple car project, these reports have been growing in frequency and reliability in the recent past. A high profile visit by Apple CEO Tim Cook to a BMW electric car plant only solidified the rumors that Apple is very interested in creating their own electric vehicle.
The latest reports also mention that Apple is now aggressively hiring automotive industry veterans and engineers from well known companies like Volkswagon, Ford, and Tesla Motors. Apple has apparently given final approval for the actual full design and production of the Apple car and more resources and manpower are now being dedicated to the project. Some of the new hires have experience with autonomous vehicles and so it is likely that Apple will eventually also produce a partial or fully autonomous car as well. Reports suggest that the first model will not be fully autonomous but could include assistive features found in modern vehicles.
Of course these reports have been met with both fear and skepticism from industry veterans who scoff at the idea of a tech company like Apple producing a car that can actually sell. Apple is well known for charging a premium for their devices and an Apple car would undoubtedly be their most expensive product in history. There is always a risk in branching out to more ambitious and difficult technical projects as well, and Apple has quite the task ahead of itself to produce a capable vehicle from scratch.
As they proved with the industry and world changing iPhone, Apple is one of the few companies it’s not safe to bet against when it comes to creating something innovative and disruptive. It should prove very interesting to see what tricks Apple has up its sleeve for the design, price, and functionality of the Apple car.