By Tiernan Ray
Apple plans to start producing its own electric vehicle in 2024, according to a report this afternoon by Reuters that says the company’s on-again, off-again Project Titan has a renewed momentum.
According to the report, by Reuters‘s Stephen Nellis, Norihiko Shirouzu, and Paul Lienert, multiple unnamed sources have told the news outlet that Project Titan is aiming to make a passenger vehicle for the mass market.
The article relates that sources say things at Project Titan have “progressed” since Apple brought in a veteran of both Tesla and Apple, Doug Field, to take over operations in 2018. The car effort has seen something of a revolving door of executives over the years.
The New York Times in 2016 said the effort had been rebooted at Apple, and that dozens of layoffs happened.
A key element, the article claims, is a “a new battery design that could ‘radically’ reduce the cost of batteries and increase the vehicle’s range,” according to a source who has seen the design of the battery.
The battery is said to rely on a “unique ‘monocell’ design” that packs more material in each battery. The article claims Apple is considering a battery technology called lithium iron phosphate that’s safer than lithium-ion batteries.
While Project Titan faded from view in recent years, Apple appeared to continue work on autonomous driving technology of various sorts, with a fleet of Lexus sedans cruising Silicon Valley on auto-pilot.
CXO Insider: MGM’s Atif Rafiq shares insights on driving business innovation and tech’s role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemicResearch provided by TechRepublic…
Apple CEO Tim Cook in 2017 made remarks about working on autonomous driving in an interview with Bloomberg. That interview suggested to some the work on actually making a car was dead.
The New York Times the same year reported that Apple had channeled its self-driving ambitions down a more prosaic route, a self-driving shuttle bus for its corporate campus.
The company last year acquired Drive.ai, a Valley startup that had produced kits to retro-fit existing passenger vehicles for autonomous driving.