Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ electric car has been cancelled

Apple has decided to terminate its electric car project after more than a decade of trying to get it off the ground. The project, known internally as “Project Titan,” was Apple’s attempt to build an autonomous electric vehicle that could rival leading automakers and tech companies.

The cancellation of the Apple Car project was disclosed to nearly 2,000 employees who were actively working on it, according to a report from Bloomberg. These employees, many of whom are hardware engineers and car designers, now face an uncertain future, with some expected to be laid off and others redirected to different divisions within Apple, particularly its artificial intelligence and generative AI projects under the leadership of AI chief John Giannandrea.

The decision to pull the plug on the Apple Car may come as a surprise to some, but not to many who have been following it closely. Apple had invested hundreds of millions of dollars and countless resources into the project since its inception around 2014. The vision for the vehicle had undergone several iterations, going from a fully autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel and pedals, to a more traditional all-electric vehicle that would compete directly with Tesla.

Yet, despite working on the project for a decade, the prospects for an actual vehicle to be launched were no closer than 2028, and with only Level 2 autonomy, according to the most recently reported timeline.

Apple’s senior executives, including Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Vice President Kevin Lynch, who were in charge of the project, ultimately decided that the project was no longer viable.

The challenges faced by the Apple Car team were many. Leadership changes, changes in strategic direction, not to mention the technical and regulatory hurdles associated with developing autonomous vehicles. Additionally, concerns over the vehicle’s price point of over US$100,000 coupled with doubts about achieving Apple’s standard profit margins within the fiercely competitive electric vehicle market, reportedly played a significant role in the decision to terminate the project.

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