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Apple Car on the Way? Tech Company Hires Former Chrysler Exec

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/21/2015 Kelly Pleskot

As Google dives head first into making autonomous vehicles, Apple hasn't given any clear indication on whether or not it will enter the car business. But all signs continue to point to the answer being "yes," now that Apple has recruited Chrysler exec Doug Betts.

Research

Betts formerly worked as global quality chief for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and is now employed at Apple. Neither Apple nor Betts will comment on the specific position for which he was hired, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. On Betts' LinkedIn profile, his title is simply listed as "Operations-Apple Inc."

But Betts isn't the only person Apple has snagged from the auto industry. The tech giant reportedly brought in Paul Furgale, a prominent autonomous vehicle researcher, as well as Steve Zadesky, veteran product designer and former Ford engineer, to work on confidential projects. The tech company has also lured away workers from Tesla, and was even sued by battery company A123 Systems for allegedly poaching hard-to-replace employees.

For a while now, we've heard Apple is interested in making electric vehicles. Codenamed Project Titan, a plan called for Apple to make an electric vehicle that resembles a minivan. But the tech company won't publicly acknowledge the effort, so for now, we are left guessing exactly what will come of the venture.

Cars are quickly becoming giant cellphones on wheels, so we wouldn't be surprised if Apple throws its hat into the connected car ring. The company certainly has the resources to invest in making cars, and it apparently has the right team to lead it in that direction now.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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