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Apple is now deadly serious about its electric car project (codenamed Project Titan), as it is now being classified as a ‘committed project’, with an ambitious target 2019 ship date for the vehicle, according to the Wall Street Journal. It looks like planned market deployment has been brought forward by a year from that stated in an earlier report.

Apparently, the company is set to triple its 600-person strong team working on the project. Citing information from individuals close to the project, the news portal believes that the go-ahead came about after the company started feasibility studies into an Apple-branded car about a year ago.

It opines that Apple sees an opportunity to apply its technological know-how into areas such as batteries, sensors and hardware-software integration for next-generation automobiles.

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As we reported earlier in August, UK’s The Guardian had stumbled upon information that Apple was scouting for secure locations in the San Fransisco Bay area to test a ‘self-driving car’. It was also rumoured that the BMW i3 might be the preferred model for the undertaking. The WSJ report adds that the car may not be totally autonomous though – the publication’s sources indicate that this self-driving capability is part of the project’s long-term goals and not for the immediate future.

There’s no lack of cooperation – Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has stated that he is open to collaborations with Apple and Google in the future as he believes next-generation automobiles will be built with greater input from telecommunications and software experts too.

Whatever the case, it’ll definitely be something else for Apple to traverse into the realm of becoming a full-fledged automaker and take on electric car rivals such as the Tesla S and Nissan Leaf. Just to jog your memory, you might want to check out our earlier article on the spy photographs of the Apple “Titan” autonomous EV that was caught testing back in June too.

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