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Apple cancels Apple Car project after more than a decade Leave a comment


Bloomberg reports that Apple has officially canceled its effort to build an electric car. The move was announced internally by Apple COO Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, who had been leading the Apple Car project since 2021.

“Apple’s most senior executives finalized the decision in recent weeks,” the report says. The project had reached a “make-or-break point” inside Apple, with Tim Cook also facing pressure from shareholders to make a decision.

According to the story, there are over 2,000 people working on the Apple Car – or Project Titan – team. As part of this decision to shutter the project, some employees will move to Apple’s AI team led by John Giannandrea.

But that offer won’t be extended to everyone working on the Apple Car project. Some employees might be able to “apply for jobs on other Apple teams,” but there “will be layoffs,” Bloomberg says. It’s not explicitly clear how many lay-offs will happen.

Apple made the disclosure internally Tuesday, surprising the nearly 2,000 employees working on the project, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the announcement wasn’t public. The decision was shared by Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president in charge of the effort, according to the people. 

Apple has been working on an electric car of some sort since 2014. The project has ebbed and flowed quite a bit over the years. Most recently, it was reported that Apple was targeting a 2028 release date for its electric car with a price at around $100,000. The company’s initial goal was to ship a car that was fully autonomous, without steering wheels or pedals. Those ambitions, were dramatically scaled back in recent years.

In terms of leadership, the Apple Car project was led by Doug Field. Tesla originally hired Field away from Apple in 2013 to help lead the production ramp for the Model 3. Field landed back at Apple in 2018 to help lead the Apple Car project, before departing for Ford in September 2021. 

Elon Musk responded to today’s news in a post on Twitter with a saluting emoji. Musk promised that his company would ship a vehicle without a steering wheel by 2021, but that obviously (shockingly) did not come to fruition.

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