Quantcast

Elon Musk: It's an 'Open Secret' That Apple Is Making a Rival Electric Car

Business

Elon Musk—who believes electric cars “are the future”—will soon have more competition in this ever-expanding sector from none other than Apple Inc.

In an interview with the BCC, Musk said that Apple's long-rumored electric vehicle is an "open secret" and that the tech giant's move into the nascent market is “obvious.”

Musk said that Apple has been on a hiring spree to carry out the task. “It’s pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it,” he said.

Musk's claims about Apple's electric car, codenamed Project Titan, are unsurprising. In October, Musk told the German newspaper Handelsblatt that Apple has "hired people we've fired," and added, "we always jokingly call Apple the 'Tesla Graveyard.' If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I'm not kidding."

The enigmatic visionary, who is also involved in the space exploration and the solar power industries, doesn't seem too worried about Apple being a threat to his car company.

“It will expand the industry,” Musk told the BCC. “Tesla will still aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal, while at the same time helping other companies to make electric cars as well.”

Besides being a leader in the electrification of cars, Tesla has also been leading the automation of cars.

Tesla's current autopilot suite allows the driver to keep their car within the lane, maintain a safe following distance and change lanes without driver intervention.

Over the weekend, Tesla introduced its newest update that allows drivers to "summon" their car with their smartphone. The car can also open a garage door, enter the garage, park itself and shut down all without the driver being in the car.

The goal, according to a tweet from Musk, is to one day allow Tesla owners to summon their cars from across the country, such as from New York to Los Angeles.

Musk predicts that everyone will own a self-driving car in the future.

"Owning a car that is not self-driving in the long term would be would be like owning a horse," he explained to the BBC. "You would use it for sentimental reasons but not for daily use, really."

A February 2015 report from Reuters suggested that Apple is trying to make its own version of a self-driving car, according to an auto industry source.

Apple has not made an official announcement about an electric vehicle. However, several Apple news blogs such as MacRumors and 9to5Mac noticed that the iPhone maker registered three car-related domain names—Apple.car, Apple.cars and Apple.auto—earlier this month.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE 

The Volkswagen Hippie Bus Is Back and Now It’s Electric

Germany’s Superhighway for Bikes Could Take 50,000 Cars Off the Road Every Day

Feds Sue Volkswagen in Diesel Emissions Scandal

Elon Musk Signs Open Letter Proposing Radical Fix to VW’s Emission Scandal

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

Michael Schade / Twitter

At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.

Guardians of the Forest monitor passersby entering Juracal Village in Araribóia Indigenous Reserve, Maranhão, Brazil on Aug. 8, 2015. Bonnie Jo Mount / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Two indigenous leaders were killed in a drive-by shooting in Northeast Brazil Saturday, and two others were injured.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Larger fish like tuna are especially threatened by lowering ocean oxygen levels. TheAnimalDay.org / CC BY 2.0

Human activity is smothering the ocean, the largest study of its kind has found, and it poses a major threat to marine life.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, LN

Up to 20% of people may have a food addiction or exhibit addictive-like eating behavior.

Read More Show Less
Spiced hot chocolate. Lilechka75 / iStock / Getty Images

By Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD

Food is the cornerstone of the holiday season. It brings friends and family together to share memories, cultural traditions, and great flavors.

Read More Show Less