Is Apple developing something much bigger than a car?
After hiring 1,000 people to work on a secret program called “Project Titan,” which many believed to be the development of an “Apple Car,” Apple fired hundreds of them. This was understood as one of Apple’s sporadic experiments: The company looked at what would mean to build a car, and then decided to give up on that plan.
Business Insider recently discovered a secret Apple office in Berlin which — sources tell is dedicated mostly to transportation. The engineers there were hired from car companies and some are working on mapping projects.
So is Apple working on a car or not?
UBS analyst Steven Milunovich asked Horace Dediu of Asymco.com and Neil Cybart of AboveAvalon.com what they thought was going on inside Project Titan. They raised some key- issues, starting from the idea that Apple can only go into massive markets if it wants to continue growing.
First of all, transportation — “$5tn narrowly or $15tn broadly defined” — is a bigger market than either IT or healthcare, two industries that Apple is already deep into.
Secondly, car ownership will plummet with autonomous driving.
And the company is building expertise in core sensor, driving, and mapping technologies.
So “Project Titan is likely to be a transportation platform—not a car but the entire experience,” Milunovich wrote.