BUSINESS

Apple Might Release An Electric Car In 4 Years

The rumor mill keeps on churning.

Apple seems pretty keen to unleash an electric car soon.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is aiming to roll out a vehicle by 2019. The 600-person team working on the project, which is code-named "Titan," is set to expand threefold.

The vehicle is unlikely to be completely autonomous, though one with self-driving capabilities may be unveiled eventually, according sources involved in the matter who spoke to the Journal. Some also expressed doubt that Apple would be able to meet its 2019 target.

There's been much speculation about Apple's plans to break into the automobile market. The company has made several high-level industry hires in the past year: Doug Betts, formerly of Toyota, Nissan and the Chrysler Group, joined in July; and Paul Furgale, a robotics specialist, left his former post at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology earlier this year.

Last month, The Guardian reported that Apple was looking into testing robotic cars at a former naval base with high-level security near San Francisco. 

Apple may be feeling increased pressure from Google, which recently named John Krafcik, a former CEO of Hyundai Motors America, as chief of its self-driving car project. Google has been testing self-driving cars for years, and it began driving trials on its new egg-shaped prototype in May.

Google's far from the only other company with autonomous vehicles on the road, however, and there's been at least one run-in (or near-run-in) with a Google car and another self-driving prototype.

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