Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is sure Apple is developing an electric car Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has said that it is an "open secret" that Apple is developing an electric car, believed to be codenamed Titan. Apple, however, has not made any announcement with regards to such a vehicle, even though a car mounted with cameras registered to the iPhone-maker was seen on US roads in 2015.

Musk told the BBC that it was "obvious" Apple was working on its own electric car as "it's pretty hard to hide something if you hire over a thousand engineers to do it". According to Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook had given the go-ahead for the Apple electric car project around a year back.

Musk, who does not see Apple as a competitor to Tesla Motors, said: "Tesla will still aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal, while at the same helping other companies to make electric cars as well." Tesla Motors, which makes high-end electric cars, is running at a loss.

The Tesla CEO made the comments on 10 January, while revealing a new feature called Summon that has been installed in some Tesla cars. Summon is a software that allows users to summon their cars, which would also park on their own.

"[With] the current version of Summon, the car will come and find you if you're on private property. The car will exit the garage, close the garage behind it and come over to you," Musk said.

"This is the first baby step - ultimately you'll be able to summon the car from New York if you're living in LA, and it will drive across the country, charge itself at the various locations and come to you," he said. Musk also said in two years' time Tesla cars would be able to drive across the country without a driver.

"In the long term, nobody will buy a car unless it's autonomous," Musk said. "Owning a car that is not self-driving in the long term will be like owning a horse — you would own it and use it for sentimental reasons but not for daily use," Musk said.