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Apple sets 2019 goal to build a car

September 25, 2015
Carmakers at this month’s Frankfurt International Auto Show were obsessed with what the nonauto companies such as Apple and Google might be developing, and the Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 22 that Apple has designated its efforts to build an electric car by 2019 as a "committed project."
The company is still working out whether it will make a self-driving car, an electric vehicle or a combination of the two, according to a person with knowledge of the product, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, as Apple is known for its intense secretiveness. It is not unusual for Apple to work on several prototypes of a product at the same time, as it did with the iPhone and the iPad.
Detroit has come a long way since the financial crisis, and advanced sensor-based safety features are available on many models of cars from Ford and General Motors. But none of them have the software expertise of a company like Apple, and they do not want to be stuck manufacturing the bodies of the vehicles while another company controls the more lucrative software.
"We do not plan to become the Foxconn of Apple," Dieter Zetsche, the chief executive of Daimler, told reporters at the auto show in Frankfurt.
Apple has about 600 employees working on the undertaking, called Project Titan, according to a person with knowledge of the project. Apple is deploying more internal resources to Titan, pulling people from other projects, such as the Apple Watch, to work on it, said two people with knowledge of the plans.
Apple executives recently met with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which in 2012 was tasked with promulgating self-driving car regulations. In a statement, the department said the "D.M.V. often meets with various companies regarding D.M.V. operations. The Apple meeting was to review D.M.V.’s autonomous vehicle regulations."
Apple engineers have also met with officials from GoMentum Station in Concord, Calif., which is known as a testing ground for self-driving cars, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting.