Apple logo. (Reuters)

Just a couple of months ago, Apple had bought three automobile-based domains, sparking speculations that Apple iCar may soon become a reality.

Now, the Cupertino-based firm has hit a roadblock as 16-year-old company veteran Steve Zadesky, who was understood to have been spearheading Apple's secret electric-car project for two years, is contemplating leaving the company soon, reported The Wall Street Journal citing reliable sources familiar with his plans.

This news comes as a shock to many, and will severely hit Apple's self-driving electric automobile venture the iCar, internally known as Project Titan. For the last two years, the firm has been meticulously hiring top auto experts from Tesla, Volkswagen, Ford, GM (General Motors) and other automobile firms. Recently, automobile startup Mission Motors was forced to shut shop as almost all its employees were allegedly poached by Apple.

Rival Google's self-driving mini cars are already plying in California. The Apple iCar commercial variant was in the race to hit the roads soon, and if things had gone as planned for Apple, the rumoured electric car would have made its debut around 2020.

Now, with Zadesky leaving office, Apple is sure have its work cut out, and it's going to be hard to replace him at this very crucial juncture of the iCar's development.

Zadesky's decision to quit is attributed to personal reasons, and not performance issue or any other matter, said people close to him. As of now, there is no word on actually when he will formally announce his departure from the company. Stay tuned for more updates.