Elon Musk Says Apple's Electric Car Project is an 'Open Secret'

In an interview with the BBC, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said it is an "open secret" that Apple is developing an electric car. Musk made the statement when asked if he had heard anything about Apple's car development plans and went on to highlight the huge number of hires Apple has made as evidence.

"Well, it's pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it," he said, before adding that he believed Apple was serious about the project. "This is an open secret."

Musk went on to say Tesla welcomes participation by any company that wants to create electric vehicles, but he cautioned that it's "quite hard to do." He brushed off the interviewer's question of whether an Apple car would be a threat to Tesla, and said that he believes Apple will develop a "compelling" electric car because "it seems like the obvious thing to do."

elonmuskbbc

"Tesla will still aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal, while at the same helping other companies to make electric cars as well."

Musk is aware of Apple's hiring efforts because Apple has made an effort to hire former Tesla employees for its car project. The two companies have developed something of a rivalry as they compete for talent, leading Musk to take a jab at Apple in an October interview, saying "If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple," a statement he later retracted.

The first rumors surrounding Apple's car project, allegedly codenamed "Project Titan," surfaced in early 2015. Since then, Apple has recruited dozens of engineers and researchers from the automotive industry and other car-related fields, poaching employees from companies like Tesla, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Samsung, and more.

Over the past few months, there's been a growing body of evidence pointing towards work on a car. Apple sought out a secure testing facility for testing electric vehicles in May of 2015, and met with DMV officials to discuss the laws and regulations surrounding self-driving vehicles in California in September. Most recently, Apple registered three auto-related top-level domain names, including apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto.

Little is known about Apple's car project, but the company is rumored to be working on an electric vehicle. Rumors have disagreed on the topic of autonomy, but the most recent information suggests that while Apple is exploring self-driving technology, it is a feature that may come in a later version of the Apple Car.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

freepomme Avatar
66 months ago
There's no getting around it. It's just going to have to have Windows!
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DevNull0 Avatar
66 months ago
Adapted from an old joke, but frighteningly possible:

Features of the Apple Car:
1. Every time they repaint the lines on the road, you have to buy a new Apple car.
2. Every year, you'll have to replace the Engine with a new version. This will be free, but the handling will become less responsive. The only way to fix this will be to buy a new car.
3. It will be the narrowest car ever made. There will only be room for a driver, but for some reason people will say this is better than the old clunky fat cars from over 100 years ago. Besides, everyone loves driving, why would you want a passenger?
4. Because it's so narrow, there won't be room for a steering wheel. But the car will come with an iTouch that links to the car via bluetooth to let you steer using touch screen controls.
5. There will only be one pedal. You press it with your right foot to accelerate and left foot to brake.
6. Headlights will not be user replaceable. When the headlights burn out, you have to buy a new car.
7. The oil, engine, gas and alternator warning lights would be replaced with a single "General Car Fault" warning light.
8. People will get excited about the "new" features in the Apple Cars, forgetting completely that they have been available in other cars for many years.
9. The Apple car will only work with Apple fuel. It will be much more expensive, less efficient, and more polluting than gasoline, but Apple will tell us how great it is for the environment anyway.
10. The airbag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off and start a 60 second countdown.
11. They won't build their own engines, but buy them from their most hated competitors who they're constantly involved in court battles with.
12. The latest engine will have 32 cylinders, and multi-point fuel injectors. But the fuel pump will be so under-powered that the car stalls several times a day.
13. They will replace the liquid cooling system with an air cooling system. If you ever take the car up to highway speeds, you'll have to stop for 5 minutes every half hour, but the car sure will run quiet.
14. You will only be able to listen to music on Apple Music. Playing any other audio in the car will void the warranty.
15. All roads will have to become toll roads with 30% of the tolls going to Apple. If any states refuse to charge these tolls, your car won't drive on them.
16. If you don't upgrade to the latest version every year, people will make fun of you even though your car drives faster
17. The car will only be able to drive in the right lane. The ability to switch to other lanes will require an ICP (in car purchase) and you'll have to spend 5 TimGolds every time you change lanes.
18. Using the windshield wipers will be 10 TimGolds.
19. Instead of being made of steel, the car will be made out of paper thin aluminum. Crashes will not be survivable but every will applaud when Apple makes he car 3mm narrower.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
66 months ago
Apple is doubling down on open secrets. :D
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
S-A Avatar
66 months ago
Elon is the visionary that Apple sorely lacks to bring this project to life... You can't just go to Foxconn and tell them to assemble you a car by following this blueprint. As an Apple shareholder, I wish they would focus their efforts elsewhere.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iPhone.Freak Avatar
66 months ago
If only Apple and Tesla worked on a car together...

That would be something great.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BugHunter Avatar
66 months ago
I'm pretty sure Musk wants competition.
Tesla is going to be the premium electric car brand for the foreseeable future. If they get a lot of other companies releasing electric cars, that would increase the demand for charge stations and influence public perception that electric cars are practical.
Basically increasing the overall demand by a large amount, and lose sales to the new competitors by a small amount = net win.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
macbook pro screensaver table

Some M1 Macs Affected By Fast User Switching Screensaver Bug

Monday January 18, 2021 1:57 am PST by
A growing number of user reports online suggest some of Apple's M1 Mac models are susceptible to a Fast User Switching bug that spontaneously activates the screensaver and leaves the user unable to dismiss it. In macOS Big Sur, Fast User Switching allows users to quickly switch between user accounts without having to completely log out. Based on posts in the MacRumors forums, Apple...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
apple fitness plus burn bar

Fitness+ Subscribers Now Have Nearly 300 Workouts to Choose From

Monday January 18, 2021 3:24 am PST by
Apple on Monday added over two dozen new video workout sessions to Fitness+, continuing a recent trend of building out the catalog of its fledgling subscription service on a weekly basis. Fitness+ launched December 14, 2020, and is designed to help Apple Watch owners keep fit through a series of guided workouts that are available across multiple workout categories. As you follow along with...