Apple is reportedly working on its self-driving car project in QNX’s backyard.
Bloomberg reports that Apple has opened a Canadian office in the Ottawa suburb, Kanata, which is a short distance from BlackBerry-owned QNX. Despite this however, the office is staffed with two dozen engineers who’ve partially been poached from QNX.
MobileSyrup previously reported that Apple hired the former head of QNX Dan Dodge most likely to work on its driverless car project, otherwise known as Project Titan. In addition, Apple also poached Derrick Keefe, a former senior engineer at QNX after more than 10 years of employment.
While Apple has never officially confirmed the existence of Project Titan, several outlets have reported rumours of a car project since it was allegedly founded in 2014. While Apple has quietly hired automotive and software engineers to work on ‘Project Titan,’ a specific development location has not been leaked until now.
This development is a new one for Apple, as the tech giant normally prefers to keep works in progress close to its Cupertino campus. However, Apple’s intention to open a location in Ottawa was reported earlier this year.
The Ottawa Citizen claimed that the 22,000-square-foot space was located on the third floor of 411 Legget Drive. It was speculated at the time that the choice of location could be linked to the office’s proximity to QNX, though nothing had been confirmed.
Bloomberg reports that Apple specifically targeted QNX engineers because of their “experience developing fundamental components of operating systems and power management.” QNX was acquired by BlackBerry in 2010, and has since become known as one of the foremost influences in the rapidly developing driverless car market.
Despite these reports, Apple has reportedly experienced difficulty bringing Project Titan to fruition. According to previous reports from Bloomberg, Apple recently laid off hundreds of people in its car division. MobileSyrup previously reported that departing members of the team had either been reassigned or let go. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has also never officially acknowledged the existence of Project Titan.
This was supposedly due to Apple’s decision to restructure the car project to reflect a software-based vision rather than a hardware one. More specifically, Apple apparently decided to focus on building the software required to operate a driverless car, leaving it open to partner with existing automotive companies to develop the body of the car.
In addition, it was predicted that Apple no longer plans to develop an electric car to compete with companies like Tesla.