Apple reportedly kills off electric car project

Jet Sanchez
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Apple's electric car is no more. Photo / Daniel Dimitrov / CC BY-SA 4.0

Apple's electric car is no more. Photo / Daniel Dimitrov / CC BY-SA 4.0

Apple has officially put the brakes on its ambitious 'Project Titan', the company's long-rumoured entry into electric vehicle (EV) development. 

This move, confirmed by Bloomberg, signals the end of a significant yet tumultuous chapter in Apple's explorative ventures outside its core technology domain.

Inside the shutdown

Applel Maps car
Apple Maps car

Project Titan, which had assembled a team of approximately 2000 individuals, is now a part of history, with many of its members transitioning to generative artificial intelligence (AI) projects. 

The internal announcement, made by Apple's COO Jeff Williams and VP Kevin Lynch, also hinted at impending layoffs, although the exact number remains unclear.

The project's journey wasn't smooth sailing.

From its inception in 2015, Apple faced numerous challenges, including high turnover, shifting plans, and internal scepticism. 

Notably, the project saw the departure of key figures like Apple car chief Doug Field in 2021, underlining the project's turbulent path.

Apple's ambitious vision

Apple testing a Lexus RX 450h for Project Titan
Project Titan testing a Lexus RX 450h / Photo / Pancakes23204 / CC BY-SA 4.0

Project Titan initially aimed to create a vehicle from scratch, targeting a 2020 release. 

However, Apple struggled with manufacturing processes and supplier agreements, a stark contrast to its dominance in the iPhone supply chain. 

Leadership conflicts further compounded these issues, leading to significant re-evaluations of the project's direction.

At various points, Apple envisioned a car with advanced biometric features and even considered models without traditional controls like steering wheels or pedals. 

These ambitious goals, however, faced reality checks, resulting in scaled-back aspirations, including a focus solely on developing an autonomous driving platform.

AI pivot

With the halting of the electric car project, Apple's focus has reportedly shifted to generative AI. The company is also launching its next-generation CarPlay in-car software this year, with Porsche and Aston Martin among the first to launch compatible vehicle models.

This shift aligns with Apple's broader strategic goals, including the development and implementation of supercharged AI features set to launch later this year.

While Apple may have stepped back from its EV ambitions, fellow tech giant Sony is pressing ahead, with plans to open preorders for their Afeela brand, featuring autonomous capabilities, in North America next year.


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