Apple’s decade-long EV project reportedly axed

Apple Cancels Electric Car Project to Focus on AI Research

On February 28th, according to foreign media reports, insiders revealed that Apple has scrapped its plans to manufacture electric cars and will instead redirect research funds towards the field of generative artificial intelligence.

Apple Electric Car Project

For over a decade, Apple has been developing the Apple Car. Internally referred to as the “Special Projects Group” or “Project Titan,” the Apple Car project, initiated in 2014, has gone through restructuring, layoffs, changes in leadership, and strategic adjustments.

The Apple Car project symbolized Apple’s attempt to diversify beyond its flagship product, the iPhone, with an estimated annual investment of $1 billion. However, as one of Apple’s most expensive R&D projects, the electric car project never advanced beyond the formal prototype stage.

Achieving this goal proved to be immensely challenging for Apple. The company even poached heavyweight talents from the automotive and battery industries, including former employees of Tesla, for this project.

Initially, Apple aimed to create a fully autonomous electric car that would revolutionize the industry, possibly lacking a steering wheel or pedals. However, the company later scaled back its vision for this car.

In January of this year, insiders indicated that Apple had abandoned the idea of building a fully autonomous driving car and was instead focusing on developing a more limited electric vehicle to compete with existing Tesla models. This car would feature a Level 2+ system offering limited autonomous driving capabilities such as lane-centering and adaptive cruise control, a downgrade from the initially planned technology.

At that time, foreign media considered this internal shift at Apple a crucial moment for the project, potentially leading to further reassessment or strategic changes. Insiders mentioned that if the latest shift did not yield results, Apple’s leadership might decide to cancel the project.

Due to development challenges, the release of the Apple Car had been repeatedly postponed. Initially slated for launch in 2019, it was later postponed to 2026. In January of this year, insiders suggested that the earliest expected release would be in 2028. However, now, this plan has been completely shelved.

Despite investing millions of dollars in the Apple Car project, Apple ultimately decided it was not a viable endeavor.

Insiders revealed that Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, who has been leading the Apple Car project since 2021, announced internally the cancellation of the Apple Car project.

These executives informed employees that the project would be wrapped up, with many of those involved in the car’s development transitioning to Apple’s artificial intelligence department to work on generative AI research under the leadership of AI chief John Giannandrea.

The Apple Car team comprises several hardware engineers and automotive designers, with some employees possibly being reassigned to other departments within Apple while the remaining staff face potential layoffs.

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