Supplier Responsibility Report, recent hires hint at Project Titan research

Apple’s most recent Supplier Responsibility Report includes a buried connection to an automotive and mobility supplier and may hint at the company acquiring parts for its not-so-secret Project Titan car endeavor, AppleInsider reports. The report includes Bosch as a supplier, which is understandable given that the company produces the barometric sensor for the iPhone 6s, but the facility listed — located in Reutlingen, Germany — is specifically dedicated to research and development on products related to “mobility enhancement,” including automotive devices and wheelchairs. Apple is said to have scaled back Project Titan to focus more on the software and hardware to make cars self-driving rather than building a car from scratch, and it’s still a mystery what types of components the company is buying from the Bosch facility in Germany.
Meanwhile, just across the border in Switzerland, Inside-IT is reporting that Apple is operating a low-key research facility in that country and has hired away at least 10 doctoral and postdoctoral students from ETH Zurich university. ETH’s Professor of Autonomous Systems, Roland Siegwart, confirmed that five specialists have recently departed, but only said they went to “multinational corporations.” Apple refused to comment on the report, but the company is also allegedly operating another R&D facility in Germany tied to Project Titan and hired several mapping engineers away from automotive companies there, so it’s not that far-fetched that the company would have more than one location in the area engaged in automotive research.

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