Apple is continuing to scout out the auto industry, if recent reports are to be believed: The tech giant recently apparently sent one of its its secretive front companies to a major German car industry conference.
As originally reported by 9to5Mac, one of the participants at the Global Car Body Benchmarking Conference in October 2015 was “Sixty Eight Research.” What is Sixty Eight? We don’t know for sure — but there have been reports that it is a front for Apple’s widely rumoured plans to build an electric car. It was Apple Insider who first drew a link between Sixty Eight Research and Apple in an investigation published in March 2015.
It’s likely that any eventual “Apple Car” will be built with the help of an existing auto manufacturer, and there have been reports before that Apple has been in talks with BMW — though it’s not clear that these talks have come to anything. Sixty Eight’s attendance at the conference suggests Apple is still figuring out its options, and that it plans to have a hands-on role in the design of the vehicle.
The conference describes itself as “the most important forum for defining and discussing the state of the art in modern series car body engineering.” It’s a place where “the international elite of automotive car body engineers” can meet to “examine the development, performance and production processes for car bodies of new series models planned for the European market.”
Sounds like the perfect place to scout out options and do research.
Right now, Apple is remaining totally mum on its automotive ambitions — which is apparently codenamed “Project Titan.” But there are reports that there are more than 1,000 people working on the project, that it will be an electric vehicle with at least some self-driving capabilities, and that it has an internal ship date of 2020 (though this may well change).
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