As Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last year, Apple's electric car #Project is an "open secret."

In 2014, rumors emerged that Apple launched a secretive electric car project at an unknown facility located near the company’s Cupertino headquarters. To date, the tech behemoth has yet to confirm or deny the project.

Unconfirmed reports had claimed that over 1,000 Apple employees were developing a self-driving electric car in Cupertino.

Apple electric car project

Mickey Drexler, a former member of the Apple’s board, and Tony Fadell, former iPod senior vice president, had confirmed that Steve Jobs was interested in starting an #Apple Electric Car project.

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According to Fadell, Jobs expressed his interest in an Apple car in 2008, shortly after the launch of the iPhone.

The still-unconfirmed electric-car project, codenamed 'Titan', was rumored to be approved by #tim cook in late 2014. Steve Zadesky was named in charge of the project. Zadesky, however, left the company after 16 years in early 2016 due to personal reasons.

In 2015, an email from an unnamed Apple employee to Business Insider suggested that the tech giant was building an electric car that would "give Tesla a run for its money." Then a report from Financial Times indicated that the company was hiring automotive technology and vehicle design experts for a "top-secret research lab." The report also revealed that the iPhone maker added Johann Jungwirth, a former Mercedes-Benz research and development executive, to its electric car project team.

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Citing unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is looking to build a minivan-like electric vehicle. In March 2015, the Sydney Morning Herald said in a report that production could start as soon as 2020.

Now, multiple sources are claiming that Apple has halted the development of its electric car project and is focusing on building a self-driving system driving system.

Apple switches to building autonomous driving system

Apple might be preparing to build a Tesla’s autopilot rival.

The tech giant reportedly switched its focus from a full all-electric car to an autonomous driving platform under the leadership of Bob Mansfield. According to reports, the iPhone maker might partner with other automakers to build and test a self-driving driving system deeply integrated with the company’s iOS devices.

The tech giant has set up a facility in Canada to build an operating system for its autonomous driving system. The company reportedly hired two dozen former BlackBerry QNX engineers to work on the software at an office in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa.

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Apple has been granted a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test self-driving cars on public roads in the state. The company is testing its self-driving platform in several 2015 Lexus SUVs owned by Hertz. The vehicles retrofitted with autonomous driving technology have been spotted on the road.

Meanwhile, Apple is rumored to be developing a self-driving shuttle service that will transport employees between the company’s offices in Silicon Valley. The program, called PAIL or Palo Alto to Infinite Loop, will include vehicles from an undisclosed automaker. The vehicles are said to use Apple’s self-driving technology.