apple car concept

Talking to sources, 9to5Mac has put together a list of key experts Apple’s hired and assigned to its rumored car thing, code-named Project Titan. The project is led by product design Vice President and former Ford executive, Steve Zadesky.

Another big hire is Johann Jungwirth, President & CEO, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America.

He specializes in integrating smartphone functionality and developing advanced user experiences. All told, the Cupertino firm is reportedly is assembling a thousand-people team under Zadesky. Hundreds of them are from an automotive hardware background and were hired recently or around the time Tim Cook reportedly approved the project.

Here are some of them.

Here are, I think, five of the most important hires that I cherry-picked from the nearly two dozen executives mention in the article:

  • David Nelson. Just recently hired away from Tesla Motors, where he served as a mechanical engineering manager leading a team responsible for modeling, prediction, and verification of motor and gearbox performance and efficiency and tackling high profile reliability and warranty projects.
  • Mujeeb Ijaz. Hired away from A123 Systems Inc, a company that just sued Apple over employee poaching to develop a “large scale battery division”. The firm  develops advanced Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate batteries and energy storage systems, including energy modules for electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • David Perner. Previously with Ford, where he worked on hybrid vehicle calibration, new vehicle launch, design and release and research. His LinkedIn profile mentions that he also helped accelerate “adoption of new transmission for Ford’s upcoming Hybrid F-150 by improving existing fuel economy models.”
  • Dillon Thomasson. Lead Design Engineer at aerospace and defense products company General Dynamics, he’s now on Zadesky’s team at Apple.
  • Lauren Ciminera. Formerly Tesla’s Lead Recruiter, she now hires away automotive experts from other companies and lures them into Apple.

As you can see for yourself, these are all A-players with years of experience in direct car manufacturing, vehicle research and automotive design. And just like Apple has hired medical experts to help create the Watch’s fitness and health tracking features, the scope and the skill set of these hires strongly indicate that the firm is researching a vehicle of its own rather than simply extending its CarPlay software platform.

The Apple Car story began growing legs earlier in the month, when the press discovered a handful of unmarked minivans driving around California with roof-mounted camera equipment, leased to Apple.

Here’s a video footage of Apple’s mysterious minivan testbed that AppleInsider captured Monday, possibly revealing more detail on its equipment while showing at least two people who man the vehicles during testing operations.

The story quickly took a different spin after headlines mentioning an Apple-branded vehicle started appeared in last week’s editions of The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters.

While The Wall Street Journal asserted that Project Titan is an electric vehicle, Reuters described it as an autonomous self-driving car.

Source: 9to5Mac

  • Well as long as we aren’t forced to get their car just to use CarPlay I guess its okay.

  • 9to5Slavery

    I want to the Apple Car !

    • @dongiuj


      • 9to5Slavery

        Why not??? I am sick of waiting for these other car manufacturers with slow innovation and doing not a lot for standard package. I don’t mind paying out the ass but I want more quality or at least much more innovation and better integration

      • @dongiuj

        But you don’t know anything about this car, if they build one. So how can you say you want something you know nothing about?

      • 9to5Slavery

        Because of apples principles don’t you know?

      • @dongiuj

        New iPad rumored to have 12″ screen. “I want”. This is understandable due to the fact that I have an iPad and a larger one appeals to me due to years of usage and satisfaction.

        Apple rumored to be making a car “just for a laugh” with no information about what it looks like both interior or exterior, performance, technology etc, nothing. “I want”. This makes no sense.

        That’s like saying, I’m making a house but you see no plans about it, what it’s made of, what’s inside, where the location is and you say “I want that house”.

        As you may guess by my avatar I like Ferrari but when the California was in the works I felt that this is one Ferrari I would never buy. My likes about this company/racing team doesn’t mean I think it produces the best cars/will produce an awesome car in the future.

        I just don’t get how anyone can say they want something that they have absolutely zero information about.

      • 9to5Slavery

        Well. It’s not all about information. If it has a successful track record then yes. Certainly why would I be negative if it wasn’t even produced yet. But I know it will be at least quality. Or quality of design.

        Apple car not made for laughs. If that’s how you assume it that’s negative. But hey I can’t blame you on being raised like that or think like that. I believe any thing new will always create contraversy wether it will be great or not. But an idea put into action will change millions of lives.

      • @dongiuj

        Sorry, I thought in anther article on iDB it said “Just for the fun of it”. Maybe I misread that.

        Nobody’s talking about negativity here. I have in no way been negative about it, that’s just what you assume I’m getting at. I just find it difficult to understand why somebody would say they want something they have no idea about.

        As for how I’ve been raised. I only believe what I know to be fact and I make no assumptions/presumptions as to the quality of anything is/how good anything performs until I see it/use it for myself or read/hear trust worthy non biased reports on it. Sorry if you think that’s being negative.

      • 9to5Slavery

        It will change millions of lives Mr. Negative Non believer until you see it’er

        Must be one of those atheist

      • @dongiuj

        Slow innovation with a car is like slow innovation with the smartphone. So you’re saying that all these car manufactures are slow with innovation. That must mean the same as, let’s say apple is with the iPhone/iPad now. Or do you have some kind of excuse for this too?

      • 9to5Slavery

        I do believe the car industry just started with hybrid and it was a slow startup, even so they are tricking the features in for profits. Wait until apple comes in and changes the car industry. The car has more potential on being more connected and being more efficient don’t you agree?

        For the phone or tablets, yeah things can only innovate so much. But didn’t apple shock the smartphone industry with 64bit? Yes they did. So who knows how much Apple has more to offer.

      • @dongiuj

        Both hybrid and electric cars have been available on the market for a long time. Limited models but a long time ago but a lot more from about 5 years ago. Well in Japan anyway. Now hydrogen powered cars are going to start sales soon. Zero pollution.

        As for tricking the features in for profits? You just mentioned apple right there.

      • 9to5Slavery

        Apple would incorporate it its just every year they have different agendas in additional feature. Try being that company and adding everything in like other manufacturers. Look whose ahead? What happened to s voice s this and that without any stability or thougt

      • @dongiuj

        ALL companies add little additions to the new models. Toyota does it, Ford does it, Fiat does it, Toshiba does it, Canon does it and yes Apple does it. You can’t deny it. Different agendas? Just like every manufacturer in the world. What, you think that one company has more right to do it than any other company or something? Because this is what you sound like. How can you look down on the automobile industry when its business plans are no different from any other company? VERY contradicting.
        No doubt, apple is VERY successful and it has slick looking computers and smartphones and I can admit that but I’m not so sure about the automobile industry. We’ll have to wait and see.
        If it’s f***ing awesome (looks, performance, “infotainment” etc) then I will congratulate them but if it’s nothing more than an electric car that looks along the lines of a Merc, Roller, a dumb looking bubble shape or the likes, with some fancy gadgets inside it won’t get much respect from me, not that what I think matters at all, it’s just my taste and interests in cars.
        If it’s for self-driven public transport or shuttle service then I think that would be cool.

      • 9to5Slavery


  • iRy757

    Omg we aren’t gonna make a car lol. Can’t believe these rooms are real.

  • Ariel

    I am genuinely excited to see what Apple comes up with. Think of it, doing what they did with the iPod to the car!

  • @dongiuj

    Where did this photo of the car come from? If they do go with that (I hope they don’t), I’m guessing they asked Mitsubishi if it is ok to literally copy their design from 6 years ago.

    • Its a designers concept, Apple wont release any photos any time soon. Fact.

      • @dongiuj

        This early, you’re not wrong. Your fact is fact.

        One thing I’ve been thinking about though is why have they been using a minivan? Why not a smaller more economical car? If you look at google with its self-driving example a few years back and google maps it used a Prius. If you look at Nissan with its self-driving tech a couple of years back they used a Leaf (not an organic one obviously).

        This makes me think more of a public transport project or some kind of shuttle service etc.