Tesla CEO Elon Musk on the Apple Car: ‘It will expand the industry’

The Tesla CEO doesn’t feel threatened by the forthcoming Apple Car, which he calls an “open secret.”

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

It’d be normal for car company execs to feel a tad threatened by the much-rumoured Apple Car, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not one of those people. In fact he sounds happy to see Apple entering the electric car market.

“It will expand the industry,” Musk told the BBC this week, before reaffirming his own company’s goals. “Tesla will still aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal, while at the same time helping other companies to make electric cars as well.”

Unlike the rest of us, Musk seems certain that Apple is, in fact, developing an electric car. In the interview, he called Project Titan an “open secret.”

“It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it,” Musk said.

The Apple hiring spree for Project Titan kicked off back in February. Even the early hires suggested back then that Apple was interested in more than just powering the CarPlay dashboard software. Throughout 2015, Apple brought on executives and experts from Tesla, Chrysler, Nvidia, and advanced battery-maker A123 Systems (currently suing Apple for poaching employees).

Just last week, Apple registered several domain names—including apple.car and apple.auto—fueling the rumors that we’ll get to see Apple’s electric vehicle by 2019, when the Apple Car is reportedly set to hit the roads.

Why this matters: Even though Musk sounds cool-as-a-cucumber when confirming the Apple Car, he might have reason to worry. According to several panelists at a recent C3 Connected Mobility Summit in San Francisco, Apple has a big advantage entering the auto industry as an outsider.

“The advantage of a new entrant comes into play when you think about meeting regulations, minimizing the risk for stakeholders, and satisfying your existing customers,” said Sarah Pilewski, a principal at data platform Quid, when talking about the current big car companies. “You are beholden to them, and that slows you down. That environment is not ripe for innovation.”

Pilewski said this was the reason why tech startups have been able to succeed as new entrants to big established industries.

“When you think of services like Uber and Airbnb, they ignore regulations right off the bat until they are forced to comply,” she said. “The car companies don’t have that luxury, for better or for worse.”

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ApplecarsApple Car

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Oscar Raymundo

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?