Apple is aiming to reach a major milestone in the development of its car by 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
The Journal said that Apple had labeled the electric car a “committed project” after weighing up the prospect of entering the auto business for more than a year. Though the company is reportedly eyeing self-driving functionality for the vehicle, it is not expected to be a part of the first vehicle the company releases.
Apple has apparently set a 2019 “ship date” for the product, which could be the time that designers finalize certain features rather than the time frame in which it will be delivered to consumers. The Journal reported that some at Apple are not sure whether the company can hit the 2019 target.
The paper also reported that the team working on the car is expected to expand three-fold.
Apple declined to comment on the report.
The move could put Apple into competition with Tesla, Elon Musk’s auto company, and other major auto manufacturers who build electric cars.
It could also throw the company into a new area of public policy.
In particular, some have said that Google and others are not being transparent enough about the testing of self-driving cars. In response, Google and the California Department of Motor Vehicles have released most of the reports related to accidents involving these cars.