Whois records, showing an update date for January 8, indicate Apple now owns a trio of automobile related domain names. Apple.car, apple.cars, and apple.auto are registered to the Cupertino company via sponsoring registrar MarkMonitor Inc. The domains are not yet active.
The domains could be related to CarPlay, but there will naturally be speculation about their possible relation to Apple’s much-rumored electric vehicle plans. Multiple reports over the past year said Apple has a secretive team of hundreds working on an electric vehicle with a prospective 2019 or 2020 shipping date.
The company has been rumored to be mulling over an entry into the auto industry, with a number of reports indicating such a move. It has reportedly been in discussions with a secure Bay Area connected vehicle testing facility, and has met with the California Department of Motor Vehicles to review self-driving vehicle regulations in that state.
The iPhone maker is also reported to be recruiting talent from Tesla, Ford, GM, and other automobile related firms to work on a much-rumored project called “Project Titan.” Electric motorcycle startup Mission Motors was even forced to close down operations after losing employees to the project.
If Apple is working on an automobile – self-driving or not – is likely in the early stages of any such project, and its internal efforts may never show any public-facing results, as the company is known to explore many research projects that never come to fruition. However, the three new domains does pile another log on the still-burning rumor fire indicating an “iCar” may be on the way.