Apple has added language to legal documents (via 9to5Mac) regarding the scope of its company activities to include vehicles, with a generic description that includes automobiles, bicycles, rail, ships, aircraft and more. The specific details aren’t that important, and these are usually made as broad as possible to provide ample legal cover, but the fact that Apple’s lawyers have deemed it worthy of addition at all lends more evidence to the growing body that suggests it has indeed begun work on prototyping a car.
The description in the company’s legal document follows reports of significant hires, in particular of people with expertise in building car hardware and components. Other reports have claimed a target of 2020 for a target launch date for an Apple vehicle, and reported that Apple’s car ambitions have sparked a hiring war between it and electric automobile maker Tesla.
One person, at least, still hasn’t chimed in on the rumors and reports: Apple CEO Tim Cook. The company’s chief executive has spoken to German newspaper BILD, and was asked directly about the subject of Apple’s automotive plans. Cook’s answer to a question about the Apple Car was simply to state that he’s “read the rumors,” and that he “can’t comment on it.”
Typically, Apple rumors either die out or gain more legitimacy as time goes by – at this point, there’s plenty of smoke to indicate some kind of actual fire, and it’s looking more and more like we’re talking about a real car, rather than internal systems, accessories or a software platform. We probably have at least another half-decade before we get those efforts confirmed, but making a full-scale vehicle is a large project that’s likely to generate further leaks.