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Apple Car doesn’t seem anywhere close to launching despite renewed chatter

Published Jul 1st, 2023 3:10PM EDT
Apple CarPlay tricks displayed in a Tesla Model S
Image: Jonathan S. Geller

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With the announcement of Apple’s Vision Pro, the company’s first spatial computer, there’s renewed chatter about the firm’s other long-awaited project: the Apple Car. As spotted by AppleInsider, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said on CNBC this Friday that the only question about the Apple Car is “when, not if.”

While the Wedbush analyst said the exact same thing in 2021 about Apple entering the electric vehicle market, it seems the Cupertino firm is still struggling with this project. Over almost ten years, BGR has reported on drawbacks, changes in the project’s core, executives departing the company, and, most recently, the dissolving of an entire team.

Daniel Ives still believes a 2026 announcement is possible, which lines up with what Bloomberg reported at the end of 2022. In March, top insider Ming-Chi Kuo said the team behind the project was dissolved, and it would take up to six months to align expectations and decide what to do next.

Then, Mark Gurman wrote that Apple now expects a “less-ambitious design” for its car, with a steering wheel, pedals, and autonomous capabilities only on highways. He reported back then:

Apple currently plans to develop a vehicle that lets drivers conduct other tasks — say, watch a movie or play a game — on a freeway and be alerted with ample time to switch over to manual control if they reach city streets or encounter inclement weather. The company has discussed launching the feature in North America initially and then improving and expanding it over time.

While the Vision Pro was heavily rumored over the past few years, it’s hard to say the same about Apple Car. Every time it looked like Apple was going forward with the project, an executive would abandon the team, a deal with another car maker would fall apart, or the entire project would reset.

That said, we only have two real details about the long-rumored Project Titan: a 2026 launch window and a “less ambitious” design, as Apple plans to enter a new market two years after starting selling its spatial computer Vision Pro headset.

BGR‘s Yoni Heisler wrote an interesting piece about Apple Car’s future last year. In the article, he brings up something he wrote a long time ago, which still makes sense:

Personally, I don’t think Apple has concrete plans to release a car to production by 2020 or any specific date in the future. Rather, I think Apple has put together a team to explore the possibility of developing a car. More to the point, I think Apple is assembling a group of extremely smart individuals in order to assess the viability of further research. I think Apple’s car ambitions, at this point, represent nothing more than a typical R&D project, albeit on a grander scale.

While Apple is still unsure of what it will announce, we’ll have to wait for more reports to understand if the company will ever truly enter the electric vehicle market, or if it will choose to focus on the Vision Pro as its only new product line for the next few years.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.