Apple Cancels the Apple Car Project

Mar 1, 2024 - 3 Comments

Apple Car project has been canceled

Apple has canceled their ambitious decade-long car project, codenamed Project Titan, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Development on the Apple Car, which was apparently intended to be an electric vehicle with self-driving capabilities, became news in 2015, and originally had a speculative release dates of 2019 and 2020, which obviously came and went without anything rolling off the lot. Later news continued to push the project further out, with an increasingly diminished scope.

Developing a car is a significant undertaking with myriad engineering challenges, regulatory obstacles, and immense competition from long established automobile brands.

It’s unclear why exactly Apple gave up the project, but reports from Bloomberg and New York Times suggest that Apple was unable to create the self-driving functionality they desired.

The New York Times report even mentioned that Apple wanted the car to have no steering wheel, and instead be controlled by Siri, which, if you’ve ever used Siri, you probably have some opinions on. (“Hey Siri, turn right!” … ‘Searching the web for “morning flight”‘ “No no no Siri I’m going to be late for work, take me to work!” … ‘OK, playing Men At Work on Apple Music’ … [human dives out the moving vehicle]..).

The cancellation of Project Titan, which apparently some Apple employees referred to as a “Titanic disaster”, has significant implications for the tech industry as a whole, as well as the future of electric cars and vehicles in general. The potential entry of Apple into the automobile market would have been incredibly disruptive, and exciting, given Apple’s obsessive approach to design and user experience.

Apple is said to be redirecting many of the 2000+ employees from the Apple Car project to other areas of focus within Apple, including to teams working on generative AI. Generative AI tools and Large Language Models, like ChatGPT, are developing rapidly and being incorporated in everything from web browsers, to search engines, and various software applications. In fact, the whacky conceptual car image at the top of this article was created with the Dall-E generative AI feature incorporated into Bing simply by prompting it to create an image of an Apple Car. There are rumors that generative AI will play a significant part in iOS 18, along with a revamped Siri.

If you’re an Apple enthusiast, it’s hard to not be disappointed by the culling of the Apple Car project, and I tend to agree with CultOfMac who referred to the ending of the project as “depressing and sad“. One of my favorite things about Apple is their collective imagination and willingness to try new things that are different – recall that phones before the iPhone were mostly dumb flip phones or had chunky physical keyboards and small screens, and now basically every phone mimics the iPhone appearance and functionality – and while there are plenty of ‘cool’ cars out there today, it would have been undeniably captivating to see what Apple brought to the table.

It’s important to remember that Apple has canceled and shelved other product categories in the past, only to revisit them years later, when technology has evolved enough to achieve what they imagined. So while the Apple Car project may be dead for now, that doesn’t mean it’s dead forever.


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in News


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  1. robertD says:

    Apple can’t even make an OS that works correctly, how would they ever create an autonomous car? It’s a scary thought!

  2. John says:

    When Apple first started this quest to build a vehicle I felt that even Apple could crank out at least a decent pre market demo in a few years. But it just seemed like Apple never had a decent grasp on this project which might have simply been over engineered. Who exactly would buy it, how would anyone get it serviced? What sort of regulatory hurdles would Apple have to jump over? Just a big waste of money and time better suited to projects Apple would be better suited to develop. This was clearly a Tim Cook failure.

    • Beachballin Mac User says:

      My initial reaction was like yours, when I originally heard that Apple was working on an electric car, I rolled my eyes and thought what on earth are they thinking? Then I road around in a Tesla a handful of times, and it sort of made more sense to me, since Tesla has a very different experience from a standard car. It actually made sense for Apple to buy Tesla, which I guess they had talks of doing at one point but went no where. Now Tesla is far too expensive for that, but Tesla makes the best electric cars and it’s not even close.

      But the idea of having a car with no steering wheel? No thanks! The idea of having a car that you can’t manually override the computer, to drive where you want to? No thanks! The idea of having SIRI control the car? Good lord, no chance, I wouldn’t even drive in that car, Siri can’t even predictably set a timer, there is no way I would trust it to operate a vehicle. Have you ever seen the Pixar movie Wall-E about a dystopian future where everyone is overweight and catered to and moved around by robots? It’s dystopian for a reason! No thanks!

      Maybe 10 years down the road from now, the tech will have enhanced enough to be highly capable. Maybe their timeline was too ambitious? I wouldn’t be surprised if a decade from now they revisit this one.

      I like the idea of Apple going for wild ideas and moon shots, they certainly have the money for it.

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