Remember when Apple rebuilt around 200 employees who had been affiliated with Project Titan to other areas of the company back in January? Remember the chorus of "Project Titan is dead" afterwards? If not, you can see Mashable getting their graves in here as a reminder. The fact is, this is not the first time Apple has moved people away from Project Titan. I'm sure you can guess this, but the tech press took it wrong then too.
Apple scaled back and rebooted its autonomous driving project back in 201
Today we have a recent report suggesting an interesting direction for Apple's Project Titan. According to German publishing manager Magazine, Apple's car project cannot work with a car at all, but rather an electric van. This would actually respond with some older rumors and predictions that Apple might end up working on car fleets for environmentally friendly autonomous ridding, instead of cars for individuals. A van can't be sexy, but it would be perfect for this type of application. It is an interesting concept that could actually solve many traffic problems and vehicle dependence in areas where public transport is not strong.
During Apple's 2016 Revolution of Project Titan, the prevailing theory was that Apple left the idea of a car and focused on autonomous systems. It is very possible that this was the case at the time. But Manager Magazine's report also says Apple engineers are now working inside a car, as well as other car components. If this is true, it indicates another potential shift back to building entire cars.
It's very possible that Apple is re-hiring Doug Field in August and then hiring Andrew Kim in December was due to this shift. Both were at Tesla before moving to Apple, where both worked on various elements of vehicle design. It is doubtful that Apple would go for guys with this type of design experience if they were only interested in autonomous systems. Who knows. Perhaps the 200 employees who were only mixed were due to this same changeover.
If Project Titan tells us something, Apple is constantly changing and adapting internal projects before they enter the market. We can only look through the limited lens or rumors and leaks so we never get the full picture or context when unfolding. It is often not until many years later that the whole story of how Apple's products evolve comes to light. It took the better part of a decade, but we now know a lot of the inside of how the original iPhone came. Maybe one day we will know exactly how things played out with Project Titan. Until then I am sure we will have a steady stream of rumors to continue.