Automobile production might seem a stretch for a company more accustomed to making handheld electronic gadgets and software.
While Apple has yet to make any official announcement, or even to comment on the speculation, mounting evidence suggests the company is at least exploring the development of automotive technology.
But how would an Apple car be manufactured? Industry experts say the company could produce vehicles in much the same way that it makes iPhones and watches: by outsourcing the production of components and contracting with existing manufacturers. What’s more, as cars become more electrified and computerized, Apple’s existing expertise in software, user interfaces, and batteries may become an increasingly valuable asset.
Apple has hired robotics engineers with expertise in the sensing and control capabilities needed for self-driving vehicles. One industry source recently told MIT Technology Review he met with engineers at an Apple-owned subsidiary to discuss automated driving technology. And according to sources quoted recently in the Wall Street Journal,the Apple car could become a commercialized product by 2019. Apple and some automotive suppliers contacted declined to comment for this article.