Apple Registers 'Apple.car' and Other Auto-Related Domains
Apple has registered a trio of auto-related top-level domain names, including apple.car, apple.cars and apple.auto. Whois records updated on January 8 show that Apple registered the domains through sponsoring registrar MarkMonitor Inc. in December 2015, although the addresses are not yet active.
The domains could be related to CarPlay, but there will naturally be speculation about their possible relation to Apple's much-rumored electric vehicle plans. Multiple reports over the past year said Apple has a secretive team of hundreds working on an electric vehicle with a prospective 2019 or 2020 shipping date.
There is increasing evidence that Apple is at least exploring the auto industry, including the iPhone maker's discussions with a secure Bay Area testing facility for connected and autonomous vehicles and the company's August meeting with the California DMV to review self-driving vehicle regulations.
Apple has aggressively recruited engineers and other talent from Tesla, Ford, GM, Samsung, A123 Systems, Nvidia and elsewhere to work on the rumored "Apple Car" project, which has allegedly been called "Project Titan" internally. Electric motorcycle startup Mission Motors even ceased operations after losing employees to Apple.
Apple likely remains in the earlier stages of research and development of its rumored electric vehicle, and it remains possible the company's plans change over the next three to four years. Nevertheless, the trio of new domains provide yet another clue that Apple may one day compete with the likes of Tesla and Google.