Apple is hiring car experts for an off-campus automotive research lab, the Financial Times reports, citing people familiar with the company.
While the story is bound to add fuel to recent rumors that Apple could be working on its own car, it’s unclear exactly what kind of work is being done at the lab, which FT reports opened just late last year. Expanding from designing computers and smartphones to automobiles would be a massive shift for Apple.
Instead of building its own car, Apple could also be using the lab to design the next generation of its CarPlay dashboard infotainment system, or some altogether new automative software platform. It could also be purely for internal purposes: The mere existence of a car research lab doesn’t mean Apple will bring a major new automotive product to market in the near future.
Update: The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday that Apple has “several hundred employees” working on an electric car in an effort codenamed “Titan.”