The go-ahead came after the company spent more than a year investigating the feasibility of an Apple-branded car, including meetings with two groups of government officials in California. Leaders of the project, code-named Titan, have been given permission to triple the 600-person team, the people familiar with the matter said.
While Apple has hired experts in self-driving vehicle technology, the company doesn't plan to make its first vehicle autonomous, according to sources. However, it's in the long term plans.
The company clearly sees an opportunity to become player in the automotive industry, perhaps inspired by Tesla. It will likely use the expertise it's acquired in the areas of batteries, sensors, and manufacturing to its vehicle.
A 2019 "ship date" is viewed as ambitious by industry analysts; however, it could mean the date that Apple signs off on the final version of the car rather than the date customers receive the product.
It's unclear who would be manufacturing the vehicle. Apple could partner with another car manufacturer such as BMW, use contract manufacturers like Hon Hai, or build its own plant.
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