Volkswagen boss ‘not afraid’ of ‘Apple Car’
Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess is “not afraid” of Apple’s rumored new self-driving electric vehicle, claiming that VW will develop its own autonomous car software in-house to compete against Apple Car and any other tech firms in the field of electric car data, as reported by Reuters on Sunday.
Diess’ comments were part of an Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagzeitung, saying “The car industry is not a typical tech-sector that you could take over at a single stroke,” and that “Apple will not manage that overnight.”
Rumors have been ramping up this year about Apple releasing its own self-driving electric vehicle. Automobile maker Hyundai confirmed in January that it was one of many factories speaking with the iPhone maker over becoming a manufacturer for the car, with it understood the firm was about to be awarded a $3.6 billion contract this month before Apple pulled out of the deal following several leaks, stories, and breaches of its nondisclosure agreements.
Apple Car, said to have the internal codename “Project Titan,” is said to feature a new battery design that would “radically” reduce the cost of the electric car batteries as well as increasing the vehicle’s range, with Reuters in an earlier report calling the car technology “next level,” and likening it to “the first time you saw the iPhone.”
Apple’s former Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive was reportedly working on designs for Apple’s long-rumored self-driving Apple Car before leaving the company in 2019, with reports at the time claiming Ive had been constructing an Apple Car prototype in the company’s design labs, which was constructed out of wood and leather to be presented to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The most visibly notable feature of the model, the report claimed, was that Ive insisted it should not have a steering wheel, with the electric vehicle relying heavily on voice-control.
Apple started poaching Tesla engineers almost five years ago for its automotive project. It is understood that since then, Apple had shifted its focus from building a car to developing autonomous vehicle software, but after various changes in its approach, the company is now said to have its sights back on releasing its own vehicle for consumers.