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regular-article-logo Sunday, 26 May 2024

Apple unplugs its decade-long dream to build self-driving electric cars, company executives announce

Several employees associated with project will reportedly be shifted to company’s generative AI projects while others will be given time to find reassignment to other roles in company

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 29.02.24, 11:02 AM
Decade-long dream

Decade-long dream

Apple has unplugged its decade-long dream to build self-driving electric cars, company executives reportedly announced during an internal meeting with the team, reports Bloomberg.

The development comes a few weeks after Apple’s first new product in many years went on sale, the Vision Pro spatial computing headset.

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Several employees associated with the project will reportedly be shifted to the company’s generative AI projects while others will be given time to find a reassignment to other roles in the company.

Apple is apparently spending millions of dollars a day on projects related to artificial intelligence.

During the company’s quarterly earnings call earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned that AI software features will make its way to customers “later this year”, which aligns with the public release of iOS 18. It could be the biggest update in the operating system’s history.

The company started working on its car project, known internally as ‘Project Titan’, in 2014-15 but it was never clear whether Apple wanted to simply build an all-electric Tesla competitor or focus on a fully-autonomous vehicle such as Waymo.

In May 2015, engineers from the project met officials from GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco, to turn it into a high-security testing ground for autonomous vehicles.

Over the years, Apple hired a number of important leaders to work on the project, including Tesla’s Autopilot software engineer CJ Moore (who left in 2022), and Ulrich Kranz, a former CEO of EV startup Canoo. In 2019, Apple acquired self-driving startup Drive.ai.

Although Apple never formally announced its plans to make cars, the project has been a source of intense speculation.

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