Apple recently brought on Ulrich Kranz to their ranks. Kranz is a 30-year veteran of BMW who is known for his efforts towards electric cars.
Anyone who pays attention to Apple knows that this company is extremely secretive when it comes to its plans. Of course, every once in a while, they make a move that points towards a certain direction.
You might think that simply hiring a successful executive doesn’t necessarily mean anything. That may be true, but it does raise some eyebrows when combined with the rumors around Apple getting into developing electric and even autonomous vehicles.
Who is Ulrich Kranz
While Kranz is mostly known for his time at BMW, he has a full history working in the auto tech industry. Kranz was the primary leader in developing the BMW i3, an electric car that hit the road in 2013.
Kranz left BMW in 2016 and moved over to help out a couple of vehicle startup companies: Canoo (where he served as CEO) and Faraday Future. Both of these startups are expected to launch consumer vehicles in the near future.
There’s no question that Kranz’s resume puts him in a unique position to help Apple develop something the world has never seen before.
Evidence that Apple Has Something Cooking
There were some rumors that Apple was working with companies like Hyundai and Kia to build a unique Apple vehicle. Both manufacturers deny that this was ever in the works. No one expected BMW to even be mentioned in this conversation until today.
In 2019, Apple acquired Drive.ai, a self-driving car startup. This company has permits to operate autonomous vehicles in California and hopes to grow. It also has a patent for a virtual reality system that is supposed to help people with motion sickness.
On top of acquiring a promising startup and hiring a tech-driven executive (Kranz), Apple also named Vice President Doug Field in charge of special projects. You may remember Field as a previous contributor with Tesla, Ford, and even Segway.
It’s Not A Sure Thing…Yet
Apple’s last few years haven’t been all rainbows and butterflies. In 2019, there were reports of several hundred employees being laid off, possibly from the special projects department. The Covid-19 inspired computer chip shortage is also wreaking havoc in the technology world.
Of course, if you know Apple, you know that a few setbacks don’t necessarily mean the company will give up. Perhaps bringing on a former BMW mover and shaker will be the push needed to finally finish the Apple car we’ve all been waiting for.