Apple reportedly looking to have first car done by 2019

Steven Loeb · September 21, 2015 · Short URL:

The car won't be driverless, but it will beat companies like Google and Uber getting on the road

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Tech companies go head to head with each other all the time, whether it be Google versus Apple for smartphone and tablet dominance. Or Google versus Facebook for social media dominance (we all know who won that one). 

The latest battle seems to be over which company can be the first to make a car. And one of them might have just jumped into first place.

Apple car is making its first electric car a “committed project” inside the company, apparently code named "Titan," according to a report out from the Wall Street Journal on Monday. That means its efforts are being accelerated, and that Apple is targeting a launch date for the car in 2019.

One very interesting development: I, and I imagine you did too, assumed that it would be a driverless car, since that is what Apple, as well as companies like Google and Uber, have all been talking about for a very long time. For its first effort, though, Apple is not planning to make the vehicle self driving.

That is a long-term goal for the company, but perhaps it had to be sacrificed for the short term in order to get the cars out quicker.

What are the chances of drivers getting their hands on an Apple car by 2019? Pretty slim, it seems.

First of all, a “ship date” doesn’t mean what it sounds like. It can mean the date that engineers sign off on the product’s main features, not the date the thing actually goes on sale.

There's also the fact that Apple has never built anything like this before, and that it will have to do a lot of testing before it gets anywhere near a consumer. 

Not to mention all of the complexities that go into something like this, which means it could easily see that 2019 ship date sail past.

What's most interesting is the timing of this story. Though not an official announcement from Apple, it does bring the company back into the newscycle, which was dominated by Google last week, when it hiredTrueCar president John Krafcik as CEO of its self-driving car project, as part of the company's restructing as Alphabet. It also began testing the cars in Austin. 

Google has been at the forefront of the self driving car moment for years. It began testing them in 2011 in Nevada and the cars are already legal in various states. The company is well on its way toward commercialization. The vision proposed would be of self-driving cars roaming our city streets as Yellow cars are. You wouldn't even need to book them in advance, as a hand gesture would suffice.

In addition to Apple and Google, there's a third player who recently entered this space: Uber, which announced earlier this year that it is working on its own self-driving vehicles at the Advanced Technologies Center located Pittsburgh, Pa, near the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) campus. The facility is the offspring of a strategic partnership between Uber and CMU.

The race is, almost literally, on to see who can get their cars on the road first. Apple may be trying to take the lead, but it is far from the finish line. 

VatorNews has reached out to Google and Apple for comment on this report. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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