Apple’s electric vehicle project, once a blurry rumor, is coming into increasingly clear focus. A major scoop from the Wall Street Journal today gives us details about the car’s team, manufacturing, and a ship-by date–of just four years.
The sources of the Wall Street Journal’s Daisuke Wakabayashi are anonymous—he citied “people familiar with the matter”—but Wakabayashi has already given us most of what we know about the project. His sources say Apple is not only accelerating work on its car, but that car could hit the market as soon as 2019. The company has given the so-called Project Titan team a mandate to triple in size, which would put the team at 1,800 employees based on its current 600-member-strong size.
Another not-altogether-surprising detail of the report is that the first iteration of the vehicle won’t be totally autonomous. That’s no surprise, given the ship date cited–another detail that the WSJ is careful to hedge, pointing out that this terminology could simply represent the finalisation of the product, rather than an in-store sell-by date; what’s more, “there is scepticism within the team that the 2019 target is achievable.”
So we’ve got plenty of caveats to these specifics–but Wakabayashi’s report isn’t the only new evidence we’ve got about the project. Over the past few months, we’ve seen evidence of major movement happening on Project Titan, and just a few days ago, reps from California’s DMV said they had met with Apple about the project. Apple’s car is coming–the question, now, seems to be when.