According to the famous iPod creator, former Apple engineer and Nest founder Tony Fadell, Steve Jobs did consider an idea of Apple building a car as far back as 2008, but ultimately decided not to move forward because he had other projects on his mind.
In a video interview with Bloomberg, Fadell said that Jobs and himself discussed how a hypothetical Apple car would we build, what features it would have, what a dashboard would be like and so forth.
“We had a couple of walks,” Fadell said in an interview with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang. ”If we were to build a car, what would we build? What would a dashboard be? And what would this be? What would seats be? How would you fuel it or power it?”
“The Detroit auto industry was almost dead,” Fadell said. “It was fun to kick those ideas around.”
Ultimately, Jobs decided not to move forward at the time because he was busy with other Apple projects in the pipeline.
“At the end, it was always like, we’re so busy, we’re so constrained… it’d be great to do it, but we can’t,” Fadell said. Jobs probably made a wise choice to shelve the project because battery technology for electric vehicles was in its infancy back in 2008.
Fadell thinks the hardest part about building a car is on the connectivity front, not the actual car design and manufacture.
“A car has batteries; it has a computer; it has a motor; and it has mechanical structure. If you look at an iPhone, it has all the same things. It even has a motor in it,” he said. “But the hard stuff is really on the connectivity and how cars could be self-driving.”
Tim Cook’s Apple, of course, is now widely rumored to be working on an electric vehicle, internally referred to as Project Titan. An Apple car is actually Silicon Valley’s worst-kept secret, judging by Apple’s numerous high-profile hirings of automobile engineers, electric vehicle experts and more.