A video showing a purported shiny white Apple car with black trackball wheels was doing the rounds on social media and has gone absolutely viral. Netizens have wondered if Apple is coming with a car now?
The car shown in the video is a 3D model of a Mercedes concept car. The video shows a Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo with an Apple logo on the front. The spherical wheels are far from reality.
The video is of low resolution and the shadows don’t match. This is done to hide the “CGI (computer-generated imagery) seams” that would otherwise be spotted, as The Drive rightly pointed out.
It is no surprise that Apple has been planning to make a vehicle for years now. However, there have been numerous reports claiming different launch dates. News agency Reuters quoted sources as saying that Apple will launch a self-driving passenger vehicle in 2024.
Known as Project Titan, it started in 2014 with more than 1,000 workers. However, in 2016, media reports suggested the project had faced leadership and development problems. Reportedly, hundreds of employees were terminated.
There were also reports that Apple Vice President of Product Design Steve Zadesky, who was supposedly leading the Project Titan, stepped down due to “personal reasons”.
Long-time Apple executive Bob Mansfield took over the role and introduced new plans for the project. This year, Mansfield retired and John Giannandrea, Apple’s AI and machine learning chief, was appointed to the position.
Rumor: Apple working on an electric car by 2024 with "next gen battery technology"
If it's true, I'm thinking it will probably
1: Be extremely expensive
2: Debut with plans for a charging network
3: Have the best software in any car
4: Only have lightning ports inside
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) December 22, 2020
While Apple has gone through several ups and downs in the project, CEO Tim Cook had reassured in 2017 that the company was focusing on the AI technology for the vehicle.
“We’re focusing on autonomous systems. It’s a core technology that we view as very important. We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects. It’s probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on,” Cook had said.
At least for the past three years, Apple has been testing its self-driving car in California. The SUVs have been spotted on the streets of Cupertino with a host of sensors and cameras, said a report in MacRumors.
Contradicting Reuters, this report further quoted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo as saying the car won’t launch before 2025-27. “Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the car will be Apple’s ‘next star product’ with Apple able to offer ‘better integration of hardware, software, and services’ than potential competitors in the automotive market, with Apple-designed chips manufactured by TSMC,” said the report.
Apple car concept? pic.twitter.com/Tilwr80R6W
— Quinn Miller (@quinnjmiller) December 25, 2020
Recently, the Taiwanese local media reported Apple has ordered vehicle parts from auto parts factories in the island nation in a bid to expedite the project. The report added that the Apple car would be launched ahead of schedule in September next year, two years earlier than expected.
“The key supply chain in Taiwan confirmed that Apple expects to release the Apple Car in September next year, at least two years earlier than the original plan. Its prototype has been tested on the roads in California, USA. In response to the demand for Apple Car sourcing, Taiwanese manufacturers…are busy,” a Taiwanese news site said.