Porsche to ‘expand’ its Apple partnership amid tips the Apple Car team has been ‘dissolved’
A few days ago, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sent a memo to clients detailing the internal developments around Apple’s electric car project, dubbed Titan. The team tasked with developing the Apple Car has been “dissolved for some time,” he informed, and Apple now has to reconstruct its so-called Project Titan by the end of this summer if it wants to meet its previous goal of releasing an EV with some level of autonomous driving by 2025. The self-driving software has reportedly proven to be the toughest nut to crack for the Apple Car team and that might be one of the reasons for its dissolution, saving on resources while Apple decides how to plough ahead with its electric car dreams. While Apple managed to poach some Tesla and BMW talent in Project Titan, there has also been a high turnover rate there, with several high-profile Apple Car execs allegedly leaving just last year.
Tesla’s Elon Musk went on record the other day warning that other EV makers have to not only figure out the fusion of hardware and software needed for autonomous driving, but also map tens of millions of miles like Tesla in order for their systems to work, and somewhat sarcastically wished them good luck. Apple is nothing but practical, so it might be reassessing its abilities to come up with a car of its own and seeking partnerships to solve its EV equation. The latest confirmation that this might indeed be the case comes from none other than Porsche, whose Taycan EV recently set a speed record in a coast-to-coast trip here in the U.S. Porsche’s CEO Oliver Blume used the annual investor conference to tip that it has been engaging in “common projects” with Apple. Apparently, a group of managers from Porsche travelled to the U.S. late last year to discuss “exciting” partnership opportunities.
Mum’s the word on what this mysterious Porsche-Apple venture might entail, but Porsche’s CEO elaborated that they have CarPlay and will “expand on that.” The infotainment system in recent Porsches already offers some of the deepest integration with Apple services out there, though - a native Apple Music app with lyrics, as well as Apple Podcasts fusion with the car’s voice-controlled assistant – so it’s unclear how much more could the two companies intertwine on that front. Apple has plenty to offer Porsche, such as the fastest mobile processors as well as a familiar and user-friendly interface or services, while the German carmaker can contribute with an actual electric car, so it might be willing to serve as the testbed for Apple’s car software vision in a mutually beneficial partnership. Where does that leave the Apple Car, remains to be seen or heard before 2026 rolls in.
The Apple Car project team has been dissolved for some time. The reorganization within the next three to six months is necessary to achieve the goal of mass production by 2025.— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 15, 2022