We've heard rumours of Apple's "Project Titan" and links to an "Apple Car," but the latest report on the subject appears to be that the wheeled mechanical car part of the project is disappearing. Some of the rumours include that there was a car sharing project based in China to be released by 2021, linked to the Apple Car and with an Apple engineer with no experience of the automobile industry at the helm. However, an article published in the New York Times has stated that the project has been "rebooted" with many ("dozens") staff lost as part of this. If the Apple Car project was to launch a wheeled vehicle with an Apple logo, then it seems that this project is further away from being realistic, but this simplistic perspective ignores what we can call Apple's "secret sauce."
What is Apple's "secret sauce" when it's at home? Simply put is that the business doesn't care about the rest of the industry. Apple do their own thing. Apple have an interesting track record when it comes to pushing into new industries. The business had practically zero experience of the mobile 'phone market when it released the original iPhone and most of the industry laughed at the company for daring to launch a smartphone. People laughed at the massive cost, massive screen and proprietary technologies. Apple made carriers compete for the honor of selling their product. That first iPhone lacked 3G, third party applications and expandable storage. Since then, Apple have been the "unmanufacturer" of the smartphone industry just as T-Mobile US is the uncarrier of the North American market. One example is an unwritten rule that chipsets are evolved every other year, but Apple have pushed ahead with their own mobile chipsets and introduced annual updates, leaving the rest of the industry struggling to keep up. Apple also said that people wouldn't buy large screen smartphones but today the current and about-to-be-released new iPhones are much larger than their older cousins. Apple is the same company that explained they wouldn't be releasing a smaller iPad because there wasn't the market for one, but the iPad Mini has been a success.
Is it such a stretch that Apple are introducing their own branded vehicle in five years, some two years into the project? It is certainly plausible given their track history of doing their own thing and doing away with the established automobile industry way of working. It is arguably more plausible that Apple are introducing an infotainment system, but a seven year development cycle would seem to be far too long. It might be some form of co-driver system; we simply do not know. But at this point, even given the lay offs and seven year project time, plus Apple's massive cash flow, the business is probably capable of almost anything.