After a decade, the plug is pulled on the electric Apple Car

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After a decade, the plug is pulled on the electric Apple Car
According to a report from Bloomberg and its Apple beat writer Mark Gurman, the tech giant is giving up on a long-term project that it has been working on for about a decade. That project is the Apple electric car. Back in 2018, we told you that Apple was planning to disrupt the automobile industry just like it did the smartphone industry with the iPhone. At that time, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had forecast that Apple would launch an Apple Car between 2023-2025.

The multi-billion dollar project, known inside Apple as Project Titan, began in 2014 with plans for the vehicle to be fully autonomous, run on electricity, feature voice navigation, and have a luxurious interior like a limo. Apple kept changing the personnel leading the team and found that building a self-driving car was tougher than it thought it would be. Starting in 2017, Apple road-tested several vehicles using a Lexus SUV exterior. But there was one issue staring Apple in the face: demand for EVs has been falling.

According to Swiss investment bank UBS AG, growth in the electric vehicle market will decline to 11% this year from 47% last year. According to those in the know, Apple's senior executives decided to end the project during the last few weeks. About a month ago, Apple reportedly found itself at a make-or-break point with its electric car project and planned to delay its release until 2028. Apple was also planning to reduce the self-driving capabilities of its car. Instead, the decision was made to wind down Project Titan.

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Today, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president in charge of the project, informed Apple employees working on the car that the project was winding down and that some employees working on the Special Projects Group (SPG) developing the automobile will be transferred to the artificial intelligence (AI) division working on generative AI, a major priority for Apple. Others might find a position with other Apple divisions or get laid off.

The fully autonomous vehicle that Apple was working on started life without a steering wheel and pedals. Apple also looked into the possibility of using a remote command center that would act as the driver. The goal was to build a car that would retail for $100,000 but top Apple executives were concerned that the car would not generate the kind of profit margins that Apple would want to see on a project that it spent so much money on.

Apple executives also feared spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on a project that might never make it to the marketplace.

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