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Apple Watch, iPad Exec now heading up cars

Apple has installed a highly regarded senior executive to oversee its automobile project, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The WSJ reports its sources as stating that Bob Mansfield is now running the tech giant’s autonomous electric vehicle project, code-named Project Titan.

Mansfield, who having joined Apple in 1999 had stepped back from a day-to-day role a few years ago, led the hardware engineering development of the MacBook Air, iMac and iPad, and also worked on the Apple Watch, the WSJ reported.

Project Titan remains shrouded in secrecy and Apple has yet to confirm that the project exists.

Autonomous vehicles represent new ground for tech and automobile industry players alike, and the race is on to establish presence in the growing market.

IHS Automotive recently forecast sales of nearly 21 million autonomous vehicles by 2035, upping its estimates, which it stated was influenced by recent research and development by automotive OEMs, supplier and technology companies investing in the area.

Reports have sporadically emerged about Project Titan, although, with Apple not having confirmed the project, there is no definite information to go on.

The WSJ reports its sources as stating that hundreds of employees are working on the project, with Apple having hired automobile industry veterans, along with experts in battery technology and autonomous driving.

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