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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has long been rumoured to be working on its own car, currently called the Apple Car or Project Titan by the press. And it seems that major players in the motor industry believe so too.

Ford CEO Mark Fields has confirmed that his company assumes the Apple Car is a real possibility.

"Our working addumption is that they are," he told the BBC's economics editor, Kamal Ahmed, when asked about the Apple vehicle.

"And that provides us with the right motivation to make sure we stay very focused not only on the product but overall on the experience that the customer has interacting with the products and the services that we have."

Apple recently hired former Tesla vice president of vehicle engineering, Chris Porritt, further spinning the Project Titan rumour mill. He also used to be Aston Martin's chief engineer, so Apple's plans could be for a high end, premium vehicle.

READ: Apple Car: What's the story so far on Project Titan?

Ford boss Fields also suggests that Google could become a major player in the motor industry too. Its self-driving cars have sparked interest from others in similar technologies.

"There are a lot of traditional competitors that we have in our business who we know and we respect," he told the Beeb.

"There are a lot of new non-traditional competitors who are looking at the automotive space and looking at that addressable market and saying 'gee can we get a piece of that'.

"We are viewing that as an opportunity not as a threat and there will be some things [we can do] on our own to be able to satisfy those customer needs that technology enables."

Fields also pointed to Ford's research and innovation centre in Palo Alto as a direct result of combating newcomers to his company's market.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 25 April 2016.