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Apple Lures Canoo Co-Founder to Work on its Secretive Car Project

George PaulNews
Ulrich Kranz

Image credit: Ulrich Kranz, Twitter

Apple has made a major hire for its secretive automotive project, codenamed Project Titan by recruiting Canoo's Ulrich Kranz. According to Bloomberg, the Cupertino-based tech giant hired Kranz in the last few weeks and he will work with VP of Special Projects Doug Field, who now spearheads the car project.

Kranz has an extensive background in many of the technologies that are redefining the automotive world, making him an excellent hire to help Apple craft its potential entry into the crowded market. According to Bloomberg, Apple is reportedly developing a “full-fledged electric car, but development remains in the early stages.”

Apple 6.13.21

Prior to joining Apple, Kranz had been the CEO of Canoo, a self-driving electric vehicle (EV) startup he co-founded in 2017 after a brief stint at Faraday Future. He resigned from his role as the startup's CEO in April 2021. Before joining the startup community, Kranz spent 30 years at BMW, where he held a variety of roles and led the development of the German auto titan’s i3 EV and i8 plug-in hybrid.

Kranz will join another recent hire from the German auto industry, Manfred Harrer, who was hired from Porsche to reportedly help the tech company build its own car from the ground up.

However, it hasn't been smooth sailing as the company was forced to lay off employees in the unit a couple of years ago and more recently lost three senior executives who were working on the project. Robotics exec Dave Scott, safety and regulation leader Jamie Waydo, and early Project Titan employee Benjamin Lyon all left for jobs at external companies.

Apple’s car project has been secretive, with only around 5,000 of Apple's 135,000 employees having direct knowledge of the program as of 2018. However, hires like Kranz, Harrer, and a slew of ex-Tesla employees help tell a story of what the company could be working on. In this case it is safe to assume that Apple is working on a high-end EV, most likely with self-driving capabilities similar to Tesla’s Autopilot.

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