apple car concept

A rumor involving an Apple-branded electric vehicle that The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal threw their weight behind just took an interesting turn with a Reuters report Saturday offering additional tidbits.

The news gathering organization learned from sources that Apple’s electric vehicle is actually an autonomous self-driving car. Apple is reportedly actually “exploring how to make an entire vehicle” rather than just designing automotive software as previously suspected.

The story, however, contradicts The Wall Street Journal which said last evening that developing a self-driving car was not part of Apple’s effort.

“They don’t appear to want a lot of help from carmakers,” the source who declined to be named told Reuters.

Another automotive source told Reuters that Apple “is learning” how to make a self-driving electric car and “is gathering advice” from experts at carmakers and automotive suppliers on parts and production methods.

The company isn’t interested in combustion engine technology or conventional manufacturing methods, the story notes.

As previously reported, last September Apple hired Johann Jungwirth, President & CEO, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, who specialized in integrating smartphone functionality and developing advanced user experiences.

During his tenure at Daimler from March 2009 to September 2014 Jungwirth oversaw Connected Car & UI Telematics, Autonomous Driving, Advanced User Experience Design, Powertrain & eDrive, Advanced Exterior Design and Mercedes Benz style, group research and regulatory affairs, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple’s boss Tim Cook approved Project Titan about a year ago, putting product design Vice President Steve Zadesky in charge.

A former Ford engineer, Zadesky has been a long time Apple employee who helped create the iPod and later the iPhone, and is now said to have created a 1,000-people automotive team at a secret location separate from Apple’s main campus.

Source: Reuters