Remember those minivans driving around San Francisco with cameras on top that were reportedly leased to Apple? Well, a new rumor coming from Business Insider claims that the site was contacted by an Apple employee who says the company is planning a project that will “give Tesla a run for its money.”
Tesla, of course, is the electronic auto maker who is currently waging an employee-poaching war with Apple (and winning, for now). What exactly this means is unclear at the moment, but it would appear that this employee is insinuating that Apple is working on some sort of vehicle that is either electric, self-driving, or both.
Apple doesn’t currently have the proper permits to test self-driving cars on the road.
Business Insider posits that perhaps Apple is working on an iPhone integration for vehicles that is more advanced than what Tesla offers, and that the projecting designed to take on Tesla could be unrelated to the minivans in question entirely. While that seems like a possibility, given the upcoming release of wireless CarPlay support, such a project would hardly “give Tesla a run for its money.”
A more likely explanation still seems to be that Apple is working on creating Street View-style maps for the iPhone and Mac, and these cars are gather data in major cities for that endeavor.