Former Fiat Chrysler executive Doug Betts is one of two new recruits Apple has made as it works to bolster its rumored electric car team, according to a new report. Betts left his role at Fiat last year, but his LinkedIn profile confirms he joined Apple in July.
The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the hire, believes this is “a signal that [Apple’s] efforts to develop an electric car could be gaining ground.” And Betts isn’t the only auto industry veteran that Apple has snapped up in recent months.
The iPhone maker has also hired “one of the leading autonomous-vehicle researchers in Europe,” The Journal adds.
Rumors regarding Apple’s work on an electric car, codenamed “Titan,” have been circulating throughout 2015. It’s thought the company has hundreds of people working on the project, including electric car experts that were poached from Tesla, and battery experts poached from A123 Systems.
With more than $200 billion in the bank, Apple certainly has the resources to compete in this industry, and it would seem like a logical step forward — particularly as rivals like Google are developing electric cars of their own. But don’t expect to be buying an Apple car anytime soon.
It will likely be many years before an Apple vehicle is ready to hit the road. One report recently claimed we’ll have to wait until 2020 to get one.