Apple Hiring Automotive Experts for its Top-Secret Research Lab

According to a new report by the Financial Times, Apple is hiring experts in the field of automotive technology and vehicle design, who will work in a top-secret research lab which was set up last year, right after Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch. Sources familiar with the matter are claiming that a group of Apple employees led by experienced managers from its iPhone unit, is researching automotive products at a confidential Silicon Valley location outside the company’s campus in Cupertino.

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The report also claims that Sir Jonathan Ive has recently held meetings with some automotive executives and engineers, some of which were targeted at hiring them. One of the most recent recruits to Apple’s team include the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley R&D unit. Some people familiar with the company have also said that the people Apple is hiring, including automotive designers and vehicle dynamics engineers, and the seniority of the executives involved, suggests a car may well be in the works.

One senior industry figure said: “It’s one thing to draw pictures but it’s a quantum leap to manufacture things, and Apple doesn’t even manufacture.” 

“Three months ago I would have said it was CarPlay,” said one person who has worked closely with Apple for many years, referring to Apple’s infotainment system. “Today I think it’s a car.”

Meanwhile, some have already dismissed the idea of an Apple-made car, saying that the lab may just be developing an advanced software platform for carmakers to run in their vehicles that builds on its CarPlay infotainment system.

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  • aaloo

    i hate native car software. After so many months of carplay being released, I have yet to see any model that is actually shipping with carplay. All 2015 models still have the proprietary lag infested systems. I’m holding off purchasing a car for that very reason. I have more processing power in my phone and more fluent software than manyfold more expensive car. Its ridiculous. That’s what apple does best. They enter already established markets where the incumbents have been sitting on their butts for too long and not innovating.

  • boo

    what took them so long?

  • Shameer Mulji

    To pull off a grand vision like this requires laying the foundation. So to answer your question of what took them so long – iPhone, iOS 7, iOS 8, Maps, Siri, iCloud, CarPlay, Apple Watch, all of which will probably be integral pieces of this secret automotive project Apple has going on.