Apple EV Development Project Cancelled; Shifts Focus to AI

In a strategic move, Apple EV Development Project Cancelled, Apple has decided to cancel its electric and self-driving car project, codenamed Project Titan, and refocus efforts on developing artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies, according to sources familiar with the matter.

This move signifies a major shift for the tech giant which has been secretly working on building its electric vehicle to rival Tesla since 2014. After years of setbacks, leadership changes, and strategy revisions, Apple has shelved its ambitions to produce a passenger vehicle by 2025.

Internal sources claimed that the cancellation was directly ordered by Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, who has increasingly voiced concerns over Project Titan’s feasibility due to development challenges, as well as the intensifying competition in the EV industry.

“Development hurdles were significant, and Apple realized taking on giants like Tesla that have been in this space for decades would be an uphill battle. Plus consumer adoption of electric vehicles, while growing, is still quite low to justify the investment required. So with Cook’s approval, Apple decided to shut this down and divert resources to more promising technologies,” an insider source said.

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Just last year, Apple brought back former Tesla engineering vice president, Doug Field, to lead the Apple car project indicating the company’s serious intentions. However, even with over 1,000 engineers and specialists working on Project Titan, critical manufacturing and engineering challenges around battery technology, vehicle interiors, and self-driving functionality proved difficult to resolve.

“It was a very complex project tapping multiple domains of technology and engineering where Apple just didn’t have the deep expertise compared to seasoned automakers. Pivoting away from building an actual car is the right move to avoid missteps and failure,” the source added.

Apple had already scaled back the project in 2016 dismissing over 190 employees from the team to focus solely on an underlying self-driving car system. Now, the tech giant seems to have given up on producing its own branded electric vehicle entirely.

Industry experts have commented that Project Titan struggled due to unclear vision, direction changes, and lack of partnerships for manufacturing. “They took on too much. Building an electric car from scratch requires partnerships and acquisitions which Apple didn’t adequately leverage,” said Roger Lanctot, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Apple is now realigning its automotive ambitions solely around creating autonomous driving technology that can be integrated as a module into passenger vehicles built by existing auto companies. This aligns with reports of Apple holding talks with manufacturers like Hyundai, Nissan, and BMW to supply its autonomous self-driving car system.

Apple EV Development Project Cancelled
Source – Sunday Times Driving

“Apple wants to own the autonomous AI technology piece powering vehicles rather than build the entire car. This renewed focus could accelerate development,” Lanctot added.

With Project Titan winding down, Apple seems set to divert engineering talent and investments into other promising technologies like Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence which are seen closer to the company’s core competencies.

Tim Cook has already called AI “the most important technology of our time” indicating his strategic vision to dominate this space. Apple recently acquired the start-up to boost its self-driving car AI efforts. The tech giant is also ramping up AR headset development and aims to launch its “Next Big Thing” AR product by 2022.

“This allows us to be flexible and double down on the big emerging technologies that are going to impact the next decade. The pivot was made to pour all strengths into scaling Apple’s expertise in AI which has applicability across various products and services we offer customers,” explained a senior Apple executive. “Not being tied to a huge electric car project also frees up resources to accelerate our augmented reality roadmap,” he added.

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While the company has not officially commented on the reported cancellation, sources confirm Project Titan is no longer developing a full-fledged electric vehicle. The team still exists to focus on perfecting self-driving technology.

This strategic shift marks a landmark moment as Apple steps back from its most ambitious hardware project yet. The move to realign priorities on AI, AR, and autonomous systems highlights Cook’s leadership in ruthlessly evaluating business priorities. By migrating focus to the next wave of transformational innovations, Apple seems poised to disrupt industries with breakthrough AI and AR products that could dominate the 2020s.

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