After revolutionizing the mobile phone market with iPhones, Apple Inc. is aiming for a much bigger target – automobiles.
Last year, Apple began its foray into automobiles when it unveiled CarPlay. CarPlay linked cars with the iPhone so drivers could make calls, use maps, listen to music, and access messages without taking their hands off the steering wheel.
Now the company has sharply raised its ambitions in automotive technology.
Apple is working on an electric car that resembles a minivan to challenge Tesla Motors, Nissan Motors, and GM.
Apple employees are working on the project, code-named “Titan,” from a secret lab near Apple’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California. They are researching different types of robotics, metals, and materials consistent with automobile manufacturing.
The massive investment needed to produce over 10,000 parts in a car is not a barrier for Apple, which has $178 billion in cash reserves.
To create a planned 1,000-person team, Apple is aggressively poaching experts from the automotive industry, luring them away with fat pay packages, which reportedly offer them as much as $250K signing bonuses and 60% salary increases.