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The rumour that Apple will soon join the automotive world beyond just providing the Carplay infotainment system will not be subsiding anytime soon. The iPhone and iPad maker has never commented on a purported autonomous electric vehicle programme, but CEO Tim Cook’s recent comments could be hinting at something.

Cook took the Wall Street Journal Digital Live stage this week and said that the automotive industry is ready “for massive change, not just an evolutionary change”.

There are more and more full- or hybrid-electric vehicles entering the market, and all the big carmakers are investing big in driverless technology. These are areas that Cook sees as the next step for cars.

“Software becomes an increasingly important component of the car of the future. Autonomous driving becomes much more important. And so a lot of the major technologies in the car shift. Electrification, et cetera – they shift from today’s combustion engine-centric kind of focus. And so it would seem like there will be massive change in that industry, massive change.” Cook said.

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Just commenting on the industry as an observer or is that a hint at things to come from the Apple? Cook retreated back to in-car connectivity.

“As we look at it, what we really want in the – hopefully in the short term – is, we’d like people as they enter their car to have an iPhone experience in their car,” Cook told the WSJD crowd. “We’ll see what we do in the future,” he added.

Recently, WSJ reported that Apple’s electric car project (codenamed Project Titan) has been internally classified as a ‘committed project’ with an ambitious 2019 target ship date. In August, UK’s Guardian said that Apple was scouting for secure locations in the San Francisco Bay area to test the car.