The Apple brand has been working on an electric car project for ten years now. Apple is coming at a decisive stage which forces it to revise its ambitions downwards in terms of autonomous driving. The firm is also postponing the release of its electric model to 2028.
No electric car before 2028 at Apple
Since 2014, Apple has been trying to make a breakthrough in the automotive world. It is clear that it is not as successful as some of its competitors like Xiaomi, Google, Huawei or Sony. The Apple brand cannot bring the electric car of its dreams to life. According to a recent report from Bloomberg, a radical decision has been taken: Apple will abandon the idea of putting a fully autonomous car on the road. The Cupertino company is now working on a vehicle with more limited functionality.
A change of direction which forces Apple to postpone the release date of its electric car. The launch is now for 2028 (at the earliest) instead of 2026. Sources very close to the project declared that this secret work represented “ one of the most ambitious companies in the history of the brand, but also one of the most tumultuous “. Known under the code names Titan and T172, this automobile project has seen different bosses succeed one another.
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Level 4 autonomous driving is no longer a priority
In ten years, there were several waves of layoffs, significant changes in strategy and a certain amount of backlog ended up accumulating. Apple still refuses to comment on the progress of this project. Being able to develop and produce an electric car, however, remains a great hope for the brand. Enough to help reinvigorate sales growth. Indeed, Apple’s turnover stagnated in 2023. The smartphone market is maturing and sales are slowing in China.
Apple is looking for its “ next big thing “. But it’s not fun internally. At the end of 2022, the Cupertino company promised the release of a model for 2026. At the time, the brand spoke of a “ car with advanced autonomous driving features “. Two years later, the apple brand probably realized that it would not be able to keep this promise. Apple would therefore be working on more basic driving assistance functions.
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A bit like those offered by Tesla models. Nothing revolutionary then. Apple’s electric car could be equipped with level 2+ technologies, according to sources interviewed by Bloomberg. This is much less ambitious than the level 4 technologies announced a few years ago. A new strategy adopted “ following a series of meetings involving Apple’s board of directors, project manager Kevin Lynch and CEO Tim Cook ».
One of the most expensive projects at Apple?
Internally, this change is seen as a pivotal moment. At Apple, this project is one of the most expensive in the company’s history. The brand is working on all subjects at the same time: artificial intelligence, powertrains, hardware, autonomous driving software, key components, interior, etc. Despite this, we have yet to see any prototypes. The Chinese giant Xiaomi was more efficient. The company presented its SU7 electric sedan a few weeks ago.
The departure of Doug Field in 2021 did not help things at Apple. Formerly chief engineer at Tesla, the man said he was leaving because he believed that “ senior management would never officially approve the release of a vehicle “. He is now at Ford and oversees electric-related initiatives. To date, Apple’s only success in the automotive industry is CarPlay software. If it still wants to hope to take part in the development of electricity, the Apple brand must accelerate.
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