Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk told the BBC that Apple's unannounced car—Project Titan—was an "open secret." In an interview published Monday, Mr. Musk said that Apple's participation in the electric car market will "expand the industry."
"It's quite hard to do, but I think companies like Apple will probably make a compelling electric car," he said. "It seems like the obvious thing to do." When asked if he thought Apple would do so, Mr. Musk said, "It's pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it," Mr. Musk said.
Apple has reportedly done just that—hired a thousand people for Project Titan—and in Silicon Valley, people talk to the people they know. Apple has also had to work with a variety of third parties, including semi-public entities like the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, which manages testing facility GoMentum Station.
When pressed on whether he he thought Apple was serious about the car, he laughed and said, "Yeah, I do. It's an open secret."
Mr. Musk is precisely right. Apple is believed to be working on an electric vehicle for initial release, while it continutes working on an autonomous vehicle for later release. A number of details have been uncovered by The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and other mainstream media outlets, in addition to reporting from the Mac Web, including TMO.
Mr. Musk also said that Apple's participation didn't threaten Tesla, and that it would "expand the market. 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."
A video of some of the interview was posted in the BBC's coverage.