We’ve already learned that Apple is working in secret in California and Germany to develop its Apple Car, and a new report suggests that the Apple Car will be an EV that will be piloted by humans, and not an autonomous vehicle. An autonomous version could come later.
The Guardian also reports, via Electrek, that former Tesla vice president of vehicle engineering Chris Porritt has gone to work for Apple. Porritt was a designer at Aston Martin before that. Porritt left Tesla around the time that Tesla CEO Elon Musk referred to Apple as a “graveyard” for ex-Tesla employees.
“They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard’. If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding,” Musk said then.
Porritt worked on all three of Tesla’s current and upcoming models – the Model S, Model X, and planned Model 3. It appears he’ll be working with the Californian part of the Apple Car development team dubbed “Project Titan.”
It also appears that the Apple Car will be an EV without full or partial driving automation when it hits the roads in 2019 or 2020, although autonomous driving could be a feature added later.
The Apple Car may initially be built in Europe, as Austrian manufacturer has been contacted by Apple. Magna recently stopped building Minis for BMW, which freed up its production lines to the tune of several hundred thousands of units annually.