Apple Cans Autonomous Electric Car Project

Apple has disbanded the secretive Project Titan, which signals the abandonment of its plans to build a self-driving electric car. The world's largest technology company is moving employees from the defunct division to its ventures in artificial intelligence consumer electronics.

Apple Cans Autonomous Electric Car Project

After a decade of rumors surrounding Apple's foray into electric vehicles (EVs), recent reports suggest that the tech giant has decided to cancel its plans. Despite never publicly acknowledging the project, which reportedly involved around two thousand people, Apple's electric car team, known as the Special Projects Group under CEO Tim Cook's Project Titan, has been disbanded.

Rather than pursuing electric vehicles, many employees from the now-defunct project are set to transition to Apple's artificial intelligence (AI) division, as per information from Bloomberg News. Initially, Apple was rumored to be investing heavily in a fully autonomous vehicle without traditional controls like a steering wheel and pedals, spending billions on research and development.

However, recent developments indicate a strategic shift. According to industry experts, the move to abandon the electric vehicle venture is seen as a wise decision. Ray Wang, the CEO of Constellation Research, commented, "The market demand for EVs is not there, and AI is where all the action is."

Apple's exploration of new ventures extends beyond EVs, with recent launches like the Vision Pro virtual reality headset. The decision aligns with the growing market for AI in consumer electronics, as highlighted by research firm Counterpoint. It predicts shipments of generative AI smartphones to exceed 100 million units in 2024, possibly reaching more than 500 million by 2027.

The slowdown in demand for electric vehicles is a broader trend, with major players like Ford and General Motors postponing expansion plans. Rivian, an electric truck maker, has announced workforce cuts, and Tesla, a prominent player, has warned of weaker sales growth. Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, responded to reports of Apple's project discontinuation with emojis on the X social media platform.

Apple initiated Project Titan a decade ago amid the Silicon Valley buzz around self-driving vehicles. The project faced setbacks, including challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially aiming for a self-driving vehicle by 2024, Apple scaled down its plans and laid off 190 workers in 2019. The focus shifted from a radical, autonomous vehicle to a more conventional car with advanced driver-assistance features.