Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Apple : Project Titan

Reports surfaced last week that Apple hopes to bring a car to market in five years. Currently, at a secret location near its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, Apple is said to be working on a car design — code-named “Project Titan” — at breakneck speed. While auto companies can take as long as seven years to develop a car, Apple is said to be hoping to start shipping its vehicles in five years — as early as 2020.

The F015 Luxury was the last project Johann Jungwirth, now at Apple, oversaw for Mercedes-Benz. It was a self-driving car that aimed to be the conference room of the future.
Efforts to fast-track the car project got Apple in a jam last week when a car-battery maker, A123 Systems, sued it over alleged poaching of its executives. How badly does Apple want to get this car out of the garage?

Apple has been offering the best and the brightest in the car-battery field $250,000 signing bonuses plus salaries 60 percent higher than what they currently earn.
Zadesky, the boss, besides holding 90-some patents, was the sole signatory on a 2010 business contract with an organization called Liquidmetal. It is known for Moldable Metal — “Nanophosphate metal” — which can be shaped like plastic.

Detroit still welds. Apple and Liquidmetal have filed 17 patents together — 14 in the past year or so.
GM CEO Dan Akerson cautioned Apple to think twice before getting into hard-core manufacturing. “We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into car,” he said. “They have no idea what they’re getting into if they get into that.”

“Look at the margins of an iPhone versus a car. I’d rather have the margins associated with the phone,” Akerson reasoned. Palm CEO Ed Colligan made a now famous comment back in 2006, before the iPhone was announced. “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said, adding that “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”