Apple has not yet given up its self-driving car Apple Car and realized a top transfer to give the project another boost.
Bloomberg writes that Apple has recruited Ulrich Kranz to bolster its automotive technology division. Kranz is a man with a lot of experience in the automotive sector. For thirty years he worked for the German car manufacturer BMW, where he headed the team that developed BMW’s first electric models, the i3 and i8, which appeared in 2013. However, those cars were not a great success because of their slightly too daring design, but they did lay the foundation for BMW to build electric cars.
Kranz left BMW in 2016 to start his own company specializing in autonomous vehicle technology called Canoo. He left that company at the beginning of this calendar year after a public IPO and a federal investigation launched against the company. Kranz’s hiring is one of the most significant Apple has accomplished in recent years for its automotive division, which has seen mostly engineers leave lately. Within Apple, Kranz must form a strong tandem with ex-Tesla engineer Doug Field. Field had a large share in the development of Tesla’s successful Model 3, after which he switched to Apple to compete with his former boss Elon Musk. The most important task of both gentlemen is to finally get the Apple Car project moving forward.
Apple Car: an eternal rumor?
Since 2014, rumors have been circulating that Apple is working on a high-tech car, which has been given the name Apple Car. The project was first shelved for the development of Apple CarPlay, the infotainment system already on board in many cars today. Apple could use that platform itself if they ever designed a car. But the development of the car turned out to be a difficult task.
Just before Christmas, Apple suddenly rekindled the fire of the Apple Car when the company made a case for their cars would have finished by 2024. The rumors even became very concrete when Apple and Hyundai announced a cooperation agreement in February. Hyundai pulled the plug on that agreement and it went quiet again around the Apple Car. Ulrich Kranz’s hiring shows that Apple doesn’t seem to have given up on the project yet. Yet few analysts believe that the 2024 deadline can still be met. Predictions are that it will still be at least five years before the first completed Apple Car actually rolls off the production line. Will it ever happen? Time must tell.