In 2010, Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs had shown interest in a prototype vehicle called V-Vehicle, reveals a story in The Guardian. The report gains interest as it comes at a time when Apple is reported to be working on its own secret electric car project, code-named Titan.
According to the report, the plastic car, which would run on petrol and cost around $14,000, was being built by Bryan Thompson, an experienced industrial designer. Thomson’s project was backed by Silicon Valley investors including Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and Steve Jobs also wanted to see it.
The Guardian report points out Thompson and his company wanted to redefine the car industry by using cheaper materials and creating a light car. Thompson who spoke to the Guardian, says he and his small team flew to San Francisco to show Jobs the car.
When Jobs got in the car, he made it clear to Thompson he wanted nobody else in the car, other than the two of them. During the discussion, Jobs spoke at length about design and material regarding the car and advised Thompson to “let the material be honest,” and not disguise the plastic.
While the V-Vehicle business failed, the story itself does give a glimpse into the late Apple co-founder’s interest and ideas around cars, especially around design. Read the full story here.
Tesla’s Elon Musk has called Apple’s Project Titan an “open secret,” and said engineers who don’t make it at his company, go work at Apple. In September 2015, Wall Street Journal had reported Apple has set a target shipping date for 2019 for its electric car, which is seen as a “committed project.”
The report said Apple was looking to triple 600-person team on Project Titan, and noted a “ship date” doesn’t necessarily mean the date that customers receive a new product; it can also mean the date that engineers sign off on the product’s main features.
More recently Reuters reported, Apple is investigating how to charge electric cars, talking to charging station companies and hiring engineers with expertise in the area. The report notes the company appears to be laying the groundwork for the infrastructure and related software crucial to powering such a product.
It was also reported that Steve Zadesky, who had been overseeing the company’s electric car project for the last two years, will leave the company.
With agency inputs