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Apple cancels ambitious electric car project, shifts focus to AI: Report

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Apple has called off its plan to build an electric car, a project that has been ongoing for over ten years, according to reports by Mark Gurman of Bloomberg. This decision marks the end of one of Apple’s most ambitious undertakings, according to insiders familiar with the matter.

The cancellation news came internally on Tuesday, catching nearly 2,000 project employees off guard, while the disclosure was made by Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a Vice President overseeing the project.

Employees working on the car project, known as the Special Projects Group (SPG), will be redirected to the artificial intelligence division led by executive John Giannandrea. Their focus will shift towards generative AI projects, which are becoming increasingly important for Apple.

The Apple car team comprises hundreds of hardware engineers and vehicle designers, some of whom may seek positions in other divisions within Apple. Layoffs are expected, though the exact number is yet to be determined, as Gurman added.

This decision signifies the end of Project Titan, Apple’s multibillion-dollar effort to develop a fully autonomous electric vehicle with advanced features. Despite starting around 2014, the project faced numerous challenges and changes in leadership and strategy over the years.

Apple had been testing its self-driving technology since 2017, but the project faced difficulties in cracking the code for widespread adoption. Additionally, the market for electric vehicles had cooled off, with other major automakers also adjusting their strategies in response to sluggish demand and production issues.

Apple’s move to shift focus from electric cars to generative AI aligns with its long-term strategic goals, according to analysts. By redirecting resources towards AI, Apple aims to tap into potentially more lucrative revenue streams compared to the highly competitive and capital-intensive auto industry.