But the development of Apple's Project Titan car is still at an early stage.
Apple's plan to build a technologically advanced autonomous car is one of the worst-kept secrets in the auto industry. For a few years, it looked like the project was canned until the technology giant recently approached Hyundai and Kia to manufacture the EV codenamed Project Titan. In the end, Hyundai walked away from the project, but Apple is reportedly now in talks with Korea's LG and Magna International to secure a manufacturing deal.
Leading the project will be Doug Field, the former engineering vice president of Tesla, and now Apple has hired a former BMW Executive to join the Project Titan team.
According to Bloomberg, Apple has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW's electric car division, to help lead the development of Project Titan. Before joining Apple, Kranz co-founded Canoo, which is working on its own electric car. He was also the senior vice president of BMW's electric i division and led the development of the i3 electric hatchback and the i8 plug-in hybrid.
Having worked at BMW for 30 years, Kranz has a lot of pedigree in the auto industry and was instrumental in helping BMW enter the EV industry. Kranz will report to Doug Field, who led the development of the Tesla Model 3 and is now in charge of Project Titan.
It's yet another sign that Apple is serious about building a self-driving electric car to rival Tesla. After leaving BMW in 2016, Kranz became chief technology officer at the electric startup Faraday Future for three months before co-founding Canoo. While Faraday Future is back on track after suffering financial setbacks, Canoo is reportedly being sold to Apple.
Despite these developments, Apple still hasn't officially announced the development of its first-ever car, but CEO Tim Cook recently compared autonomous cars to a robot. Development of Apple's autonomous car is still at an early stage, so it may not launch until at least half a decade.