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A pioneering former senior executive at Apple who was responsible for the Apple Watch – among other things – has reportedly returned to the company’s payroll to take the wheel of the tech giant’s no-so secret Apple Car project.

Bob Mansfield – a key player in the development of Apple’s revolutionary iPad, as well as MacBook Air and iMac products – stepped down from the company’s executive team in 2013, but maintained an advisory role at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters and was recently brought in to oversee the development of the Apple Watch.

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While the car — believed to be a high-tech electric-powered autonomous affair — hasn’t been made official by the company, rumours of the venture, reportedly codenamed Project Titan, can be traced back to as early as 2008 when then-CEO Steve Jobs toyed with the idea even before the launch of Apple’s first iPhone.

However reports of the tech giant poaching up to hundreds of specialty automotive staff – from vehicle designers to electric powertrain specialists – leaves little doubt the firm is hard at work on an Apple-branded car and, despite the Apple Watch delivering lacklustre results by Cupertino’s standards, Mansfield’s supposed appointment to the project signals work may be ramping up.

Early reports had the car set for a 2020 unveiling, but if recent reports by Time magazine are to be believed, Project Titan has been delayed until at least 2021.

The delays may be just be the reason Apple has called in the former executive to oversee the project.

 

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Kellie Buckley
Journalist

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