Talk about a product leak: Apple is building its own electric car that's set to ship in 2019, unnamed sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Details are slim, but the project, dubbed Project Titan, will expand its team of 600 people by another 1,200 to get it out the door. And while it won't be "fully autonomous," the Journal says, that's the "long-term" goal. What's unclear is whether Apple will mimic other car manufacturers in having its own factories, or contract out the job as it does for iPhones and iPads. As for the 2019 ship date, that may be too ambitious considering the prototypes, regulations, and vehicle testing involved. Perhaps "ship date" means the year that engineers approve the vehicle's primary features.
It's not entirely a surprise: The Guardian reported last week that representatives from the California DMV and Apple had met to discuss regulations on self-driving cars. And a month ago, Apple made efforts to secure a testing site for Project Titan in California. Meanwhile, the state's DMV is writing up regulations for autonomous vehicles and will oversee their testing. So far, about 80 permits have been issued to 10 companies (including, most recently, Honda and BMW) for testing self-driving cars. Meanwhile, Google is working on a self-driving car and Uber has hired robotics experts "to futher its work in this area," Re/code reports. (Google's car is driving around and keeps getting hit by "distracted humans.")