Apple this week has registered a selection of automotive-related domain names, possibly related to CarPlay or an electric vehicle.
From Friday, the US technology giant now owns the domains for apple.car, apple.auto, and apple.cars, according to the public “Whois” records. The new registrations were first discovered by tech site MacRumours.
The Cupertino-based company already has its CarPlay product, the in-car entertainment system that’s just starting to make its way into the market.
However, most industry observers believe that the firm also has ambitions well beyond CarPlay, with rumours persisting that an electric or self-driving vehicle is in the works.
Apple often registers domain names, trademarks and patents, and many of course are never even used. As an example, the address email@example.com is associated with more than 13,000 domain names, with Apple Inc. associated with almost 9,000.
The electric car project, often referred to as “Project Titan”, is rumoured to be under development at a secretive test location in Sunnyvale, California known by the name “SG5”. There is also evidence that indicates a shell company called SixtyEight Research could be a cover company to help Apple hide the ongoing operations at the Sunnyvale garage.
Apple is also said to have set a ship date of 2019 for the electric car, but some suspect that the first model won’t in fact be a self-driving car. There are also apparently around 600 people working on the car, but the team may be tripling in size to more than 1,800 staff, according to websites such as AppleInsider.