Reports came Wednesday that Apple is in talks to acquire an automotive company. Except, those reports all pointed at British automaker and Formula One car manufacturer McLaren. And while that deal has officially been denied by a McLaren spokesperson, Apple is definitely bringing on another auto company. What’s the company’s plan?
Apple May Acquire San Francisco Auto Startup Lit; Fuels Apple Car Discussions
Uber, Tesla, and Google all working towards driverless and electric car initiatives, is Apple sitting this one out?
Not in the least.
Since 2014 Apple has been rumored to operate “Project Titan”, an internal super-secret project focused on creating an Apple electric vehicle. Rumors began to fly anew as of Wednesday morning when multiple news outlets reported Apple was to acquire Formula One automaker McLaren.
Except they’re not. At least, according to McLaren, who adamantly denied any such ongoing talks (though no mention of previous talks…).
Why did that rumor gain so much momentum so quickly?
Because it made sense. Unlike other automakers Apple has been in talks with in the past (BMW, Daimler), McLaren doesn’t focus on mass producing cars. Their specialty is in vehicle technology. In fact, the parent group of McLaren Automotive is McLaren Technologies. This is why they consistently contend for Formula One titles. And why they can sell luxury sports cars for over $1 million each. Apple is brilliant, but creating a car from the ground up is a tricky project, even for the tech giant. Acquiring McLaren Technologies (and by default McLaren Automotive), would have been a massive shortcut as far as engineers, materials, production, and all other pieces auto-related.
But that didn’t happen.
Instead, Apple is now said to be in talks to acquire Lit Motors, a San Francisco Auto Startup whose focus is on self-balancing, funky looking, electric motorcycles. And while both companies declined to comment, neither side denied the talks. On top of that, Apple has already brought on several former Lit engineers.
So are we getting an iCar?
Definitely. Though not for another 3-5 years. Apple Co-Founder and CEO Steve Jobs reportedly always wanted to explore the car space. And it’ll be very connected.
“When I look at the automobile, what I see is that software becomes an increasingly important part of the car of the future,” Current Apple CEO Tim Cook stated last October.
Bringing on Lit Motors engineers, tech, and intellectual property will only help Project Titan. The Apple team will continue to make strides in the auto space, and with Lit Motors coming on, that space looks to be electric.
Watch out Tesla.
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