A new report from Bloomberg claims that Apple has once again shifted its ambitions to producing its own vehicle. According to the report, the car’s launch date has been pushed back by about a year, to 2026, and it won’t have its most lauded feature.
The vision of the whole project seems to have changed. Dubbed Project Titan within the company, the Apple car was said to be a fully self-contained vehicle, without even a steering wheel or pedals. This new report says Apple has decided that it simply isn’t possible to achieve this with current technology, and instead intends to produce a vehicle with full driving controls and is only fully autonomous on highways. According to the report, current plans are to allow drivers to do things like watch a movie or play games on the highway and be warned with plenty of time to switch to manual control when needed.
While Apple has never formally acknowledged that it’s working on a car, it’s one of the tech industry’s worst-kept secrets. The project is large enough to require significant hiring and has been going on for so long that it has already seen significant turnover.
The car is said to use a new custom processing unit developed by Apple’s silicon team that is several times more powerful than its high-end Mac chips along with a bevy of custom sensors. Bloomberg’s report says the car will cost less than $100,000, down from its original price of $120,000, but still firmly in high-end luxury car territory. Apple is reportedly investing $1 billion a year into the project, though those costs will likely escalate — it’s in a “pre-prototype” stage with many design elements and features still to be decided. The report says Apple intends to have them in place by 2024 with extensive testing through 2025.
Then again, we’ve been hearing projected dates on the Apple car for years now, and every year they seem to go back another year. If you’re hoping your next car is made by Apple, you may be waiting a long time.
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