Is Apple preparing to launch its own car?

Rumours have emerged that Apple is designing an electric car and has several hundred people working on a project – code-named Titan – to create a vehicle that will resemble a mini-van.

The rumours were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which claims to have a source close to the project and believes that Steve Zadesky, vice president of iPhone product design is the project lead. Before joining Apple Zadesky was an engineer at Ford, writes Design Week’s Tom Banks.

Last year Apple’s CarPlay came to market, a way of combining in-car calls, mapping and receiving messages on a touch screen. It may be a sign that Apple has grander automotive plans.  

In 2012 Apple’s senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller said that even before Apple released its first iPhone it was considering designing a car.

Meanwhile Marc Newson, who joined Apple last year as “designer, special projects” has experience of car design, and created this O21C concept for Ford in 1999, which included swivel seats.

Mercedes showed how swivel seats could form a convivial living space when it released its vision of cities populated entirely by driverless cars last month.

Apple was unable to confirm any details of the Titan project and declined to comment.

This article originally appeared in Design Week, Centaur Media’s unique online source of exclusive news, sharp commentary and top design jobs.