Apple’s rumored Project Titan is reportedly shifting its strategy under the guidance of Bob Mansfield, according to a Bloomberg report. The project’s new focus will apparently be on developing self-driving technology, with the hope of partnering with—or even purchasing—an established car maker in the future.
To help speed up development of Apple’s self-driving technology, Bloomberg claims Apple has hired Dan Dodge, former CEO of QNX, an operating system that was acquired by BlackBerry in 2010. Although priority has shifted to building an advanced self-driving system, Apple hasn’t abandoned the idea of designing its own vehicle.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently hinted during an earnings call that the Cupertino company is working on a lot of products not currently in its portfolio. Whether that includes a car or self-driving system remains unclear. Under Mansfield, there are reportedly three pillars crucial to Project Titan: software, sensors, hardware. Apple has aggressively hired some big talent with experience in the automotive industry, all of whom will now report directly to Mansfield, who will then report to Cook.
Project Titan has been a topic of discussion for months now—some have called it Silicon Valley’s worst-kept secret—but Apple still has yet to discuss the initiative. It was recently revealed that the project was being pushed back from a targeted 2020 release to sometime in 2021; Bloomberg says the project has been marred by departures, technical delays, and a lack of focus. That’s why Mansfield was brought in.
Even with Project Titan reportedly facing hurdles, Apple has more immediate problems to address. Demand for the iPhone fell for the second time in a row and it doesn’t appear as though this year’s release will mitigate the issue. In addition to the iPhone, Apple has been linked with a new MacBook Pro and a sequel to the Apple Watch, both of which could be released this fall.