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25 Jan, 2024
1 min time to read

Apple's long-anticipated venture into the automotive world, known as "Project Titan," is undergoing significant changes, shifting its focus from a fully self-driving car to an electric vehicle (EV) more akin to Tesla's offerings.

According to reports by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the project, dubbed the "Apple Car," is now aiming for a potential launch in 2028, delayed by two years from Apple's earlier target.

The initial vision of a completely autonomous vehicle has been scaled back to a Level 2+ autonomy system, falling short of full automation. This means the Apple Car is expected to provide limited self-driving features, such as lane centering and braking/accelerating support, while still requiring the driver's constant attention. The shift represents a move away from Apple's original concept, which envisioned a car without a steering wheel or pedals.

Tesla's Autopilot, categorized as Level 2 autonomy, serves as a reference point for the Apple Car's scaled-back ambitions. Although "Level 2+" isn't an official designation, it implies a more advanced version of Level 2 autonomy.

This strategic shift is considered internally at Apple as a crucial moment for the project. The company believes that delivering the revised Apple Car with reduced expectations could determine the fate of the entire initiative.

The decision-making process leading to this shift was described as "frenzied," involving key figures such as CEO Tim Cook, Apple's board, and project head Kevin Lynch. The latter assumed leadership after the departure of Doug Field in 2021. Apple has spent hundreds of millions on Project Titan, exploring various aspects such as powertrains, self-driving technology, interiors, and exteriors.