It won't get fully autonomous at start, but a lower price compensates for that.
Apple has scaled back plans for its future electric vehicle and delayed the car's launch until 2026. The car project known as Titan will come without a full self-drive, but will cost less than $100,000, reports Bloomberg referring to informed sources.
Electric vehicle from Apple has been in limbo for the past several months. Initially, the company wanted to offer a "Level 5" autonomy — a car without a steering wheel or pedals, turning out not to be feasible with current technology. Now Apple is planning a less-ambitious design: one that includes classic steering wheel and pedals, and supports full autonomous capabilities on highways only.
Currently, the company is planning to create a vehicle that allows drivers to conduct tasks like watching a movie or playing a game when on a freeway safely. It would also alert the driver to switch to manual control, if the car reaches city streets or encounters inclement weather. Apple has discussed launching that feature in North America for a start and then expanding it over time.
A spokeswoman for Cupertino declined to comment.
Previously, Apple had expected to set the cost for more than $120,000, but now the company is aiming to offer the vehicle to consumers for less than $100,000. That would put Apple's car in the same price range as the entry-level version of Tesla Model S and Mercedes-Benz EQS.
The heart of Apple's technology is Denali – a powerful onboard computer system named after the tallest mountain peak in North America. As Bloomberg reports, processor's performance equals to about four of Apple's highest-end Mac chips combined.
Company's car system also has a cloud-based component with artificial-intelligence processing. Apple is testing the idea of a remote command center to assist drivers and control cars from afar in case of emergency. The company is also discussing offering its own insurance program to customers.
Design of the vehicle hasn't settled on yet. The Apple Car is considered to be in the "pre-prototype" stage. The company is aiming to present the design next year. About 1000 employees are working on the Apple car project, split across campuses in California, Ottawa, Zurich and Arizona.
Much of the fundamental work is done in Sunnyvale, California and parts of the car's operating system are put together in Ottawa. Much of the testing work is conducted at a former Chrysler track outside of Phoenix. Apple purchased the whole testing area codenamed "Sahara" for that purpose.