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Apple Car Reportedly Cancelled Once and for All

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Apple Car Reportedly Cancelled Once and for AllRadovan Varićak/Motor Forecast
  • Apple's electric car has been gestating for about a decade, and now Bloomberg has reported that it has been cancelled.

  • Before today's news, the project had reportedly been delayed multiple times, with the last pointing to a 2028 due date.

  • The Apple Car was originally planned to offer full self-driving (SAE Level 5), then it was dialed back, with the autonomous system reportedly limited to "Level 2+."

UPDATE 2/27/2024: This will most likely be the last time we report on the Apple Car, as Bloomberg today reported that the tech giant has cancelled what was internally known as "Project Titan." Instead, it's said that some Apple employees who were working on the car will now focus on generative AI.

Apple Inc. definitely knows how to make iPhones and iPads, but when it comes to an iCar, well, the tech giant is apparently struggling to figure that one out.

Apple Car Delayed Again

Apple's ambitious plan to build a fully autonomous (i.e. self-driving) electric car dates back to 2014 when rumors first started to swirl. Fast forward about 10 years to the present day and we've yet to see so much as a prototype. If Apple does ever get around to building an EV, it will likely be a lot different than what was originally envisioned.

A report yesterday by Bloomberg suggests the Apple car's debut has been pushed back yet again, as production is now slated for 2028 at the earliest. Several years ago, Reuters reported that Apple was targeting 2024 as the start of production. That was followed by another Bloomberg report a couple of years later that claimed production was delayed until 2026.

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MLADEN ANTONOV - Getty Images

Limited Self-Driving Level

The most recent Bloomberg report cites unnamed sources with "knowledge of the project," who also claim that Apple now plans to limit the level of self-driving capability. Initially, the company is said to have planned for a fully autonomous system, which is officially defined by the engineering group SAE International as Level 5.

Bloomberg previously reported that Apple decided to scale back that plan due to technology limitations and instead aim for SAE Level 4 capability, meaning it would only be fully autonomous on approved highways. The decision also meant the Apple car (a.k.a. Project Titan) would no longer be a sort of robotaxi without a steering wheel or pedals, as the company reportedly then planned to include those controls.

Now, it's expected that the Apple car will at first be limited to "Level 2+" autonomy, which isn't actually an official level as defined by SAE. Unofficially, it includes more features than an SAE Level 2 system, but it's similar to a lot of new vehicles that are currently in production. According to Bloomberg's sources, Apple wants its creation to imitate Tesla in some ways by building a car that's defined by its "sleek design, safety systems and unique user interface."

Bloomberg's sources also claim that Apple still wants to allow the car's self-driving system to be upgraded to Level 4 sometime after the initial launch. Obviously, the company needs to focus on actually building the EV first before worrying about what features it wants to offer in the future.

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