Apple has been working on a secret project to develop an electric car for over a decade, but the details have been shrouded in mystery. The so-called “Apple Car” has been rumored to be a fully self-driving vehicle that could rival Tesla and other automakers in the emerging field of autonomous mobility.
However, recent rumors suggest that Apple has scaled back its ambitions and delayed its launch date for the car. According to the report, Apple is now aiming for a 2028 release, two years later than its previous target. Moreover, the car’s autonomous features have been downgraded from a Level 5 system (full automation) to a Level 2+ system (partial automation), similar to Tesla’s Autopilot.
The report claims that Apple’s car project, codenamed “Project Titan”, has reached a “make-or-break point.” This after years of development, huge investments, multiple leadership changes, and layoffs. Apple’s executives may decide to scrap the project altogether if the current strategy does not yield results.
Why did Apple Change its Plans?
It’s hard to know the reasons behind Apple’s decision to pivot its car project but let us speculate for a moment. One of them is the technical challenge of developing a fully self-driving car that can operate safely and reliably in all conditions. Apple reportedly realized that it could not achieve this goal in the near term, and decided to focus on a more realistic level of automation.
Another factor could be the regulatory uncertainty surrounding autonomous vehicles. The rules and standards for self-driving cars vary by country and state and are still evolving as the technology matures. Apple may have faced legal and ethical hurdles in testing and deploying its car. Especially in its home market of the US.
A third factor could be the competitive pressure from other players in the EV and AV space. Apple is not the only tech giant that has ventured into the automotive industry. Companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Uber have also invested in various aspects of mobility, such as self-driving software, ride-hailing services, cloud computing, and delivery drones. Moreover, traditional automakers like GM, Ford, Volkswagen, and Toyota have also ramped up their efforts to electrify and automate their vehicles.
What Does this Mean for the Future of the Apple Car?
The report suggests that Apple has not given up on its car project, but rather adjusted its expectations and timeline. Apple still hopes to launch a car that stands out with a sleek design, safety systems, and unique user interface, according to Bloomberg. The company also plans to eventually upgrade the car’s autonomous capabilities to a Level 4 system. This would allow it to drive without human input in some scenarios.
However, Apple’s car project is still subject to change. And the company may ultimately abandon it if it does not meet its standards. Apple is known for its secrecy and high quality. It may not want to risk its reputation and resources on a product that does not live up to its vision.
The Apple Car remains one of the most anticipated and mysterious products in the tech world. Will it ever see the light of day? What will it look like? Only time will tell the answers to these questions.