Apple hired former BMW executive Ulrich Kranz to join its automotive team. Bloomberg confirmed the news on Thursday, noting that he had joined the tech giant in recent weeks. Kranz spent 30 years at BMW, eventually leading the team that developed the i3, the automaker’s first fully electric vehicle. After leaving BMW in 2017, Kranz joined Faraday Future, in the same year the once high-profile EV startup experienced serious financial problems. After just four months, Kranz left Faraday to co-found Canoo, the company behind the upcoming $ 33,000 MPDV1 electric van. Incidentally, Apple reportedly considered buying the startup in 2020.
According to Kranz’s LinkedIn, he left Canoo in April. Bloomberg suggests that the hiring is a “clear sign” that Apple is planning to build a self-driving electric car. According to the outlet, Kranz boss is Doug Field, the former Tesla executive who led the automaker’s Model 3 development team. Rumors of Apple’s legendary Project Titan initiative have grown and diminished over the years. Apple is believed to have started work on an electric car in 2014, only to restart the project in 2016 after laying off “dozens” of employees. In 2019, the company laid off 190 other workers from the same team. During this time, the scope of the project has also changed several times. But even with this recent hire, Bloomberg Mark Gurman says a product launch is at least five years away.
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