Apple Ends Electric Car Project, Shifts Staff To AI Division

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The project experienced inconsistent progress and is ending as global automakers reduce their electric vehicle investments due to a significant drop in demand.

Apple has halted its electric car project, ending a decade-long initiative that aimed to expand the iPhone maker’s reach into a new industry. The termination aligns with a broader trend of reduced investments in electric vehicles by global automakers due to falling demand. Some project staff will be reassigned to Apple’s AI division. The company declined to comment.

The car’s design evolved from an autonomous, steering-wheel-free concept to a more traditional vehicle with advanced driver-assistance features. Initially, there were hopes that the project might replicate the iPhone’s success, which transformed the phone market with its innovative design and interface. However, iPhone sales have slowed, and rivals are launching competitive handsets. Additionally, iPad and Mac computer sales have declined amid a broader downturn in demand for high-end electronics.

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Ben Bajarin, CEO of Creative Strategies, believes that if the report is accurate, Apple’s increased focus on GenAI could boost investor confidence in its AI competitiveness. Unlike tech giants such as Alphabet and Microsoft, Apple has been cautious in its AI ventures, raising concerns about its pace in integrating the technology into its products. This cautious approach was reflected in Apple’s modest share gain last year, the smallest among the “Magnificent Seven” stocks.

Microsoft recently surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable company, as Apple faces demand challenges for its key products, particularly in China. The industry-wide slowdown in demand for electric vehicles, exacerbated by high-interest rates, has led to job cuts and production reductions. Major automakers, including Tesla, are scaling back investments, with some shifting focus to hybrid vehicles.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk reacted to Apple’s decision with a saluting emoji and a cigarette on X social media.

Project Titan, Apple’s internal name for the car project, began a decade ago amidst interest in self-driving vehicles in Silicon Valley. Although Apple considered launching the car as early as 2024 or 2025, the project faced setbacks even before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the automotive industry. In 2019, Apple laid off 190 workers from the group after a software strategy overhaul.

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Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi is a Journalist at EFY. His passion is to explore the future of mobility, which gets him to cover latest technologies shaping the future of automobiles and EVs. But, at times he writes on broader technologies too. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aryaman-raghuvanshi-2431b7153

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