Apple’s secret car project, which is called Titan and everyone knows exists, has hit another bump in the road. Steve Zadesky, the lead engineer, has left the tech giant supposedly for personal reasons. This casts a shadow of doubt on the future of the Apple car.
Interestingly enough, AppleInsider broke the news that Apple recently instituted a hiring freeze for Project Titan. Under Zadesky’s direction, the development team ballooned from 600 to about 1800 employees. This freeze reportedly came about because high-level executives aren’t at all happy about the direction and progress of the car project.
This is great news for Tesla, since it’s also well-known that Apple has been poaching the electric automaker’s engineers. Some have speculated that Tesla’s future vehicle development efforts have been slowed considerably thanks to Apple, but the company hasn’t confirmed or denied the rumors.
Originally, final engineering for the future Apple car was supposed to be complete no later than 2019. With the recent developments, it’s not clear if that’s still the target, or if that goal is going to shift with Zadesky gone.
There have been other big hurdles for Apple’s Project Titan. AppleInsider reported back in the fall that the company was trying to negotiate with BMW to use the i3’s platform to develop its own vehicle. Apparently BMW wasn’t too hot on the idea. There’s a possibility that Apple has been negotiating with other established automakers, but that’s admittedly pretty slim since few have an offering that’s even somewhat similar to the i3.
With this news, some are wondering if Apple will jump out of the automotive industry before it ever officially enters it. The world might never find out how the tech company would’ve approached vehicle design, which could have been cool or horrible. Talk about Apple acquiring Tesla could increase again, because why make your own car when you can just slap a badge on the technology pioneered by others?