Apple’s Project Titan started in 2014
Electronics company was thought to have given up on cars
Back for another go at entering the cutthroat field of car manufacturing, Apple is said to be moving ahead with a plan to build its own car. This time it could include the brand’s own new battery technology as well as developments toward autonomous driving.
Apple has tried to build its own vehicle before, with a venture known as Project Titan that started in 2014 with an attempt to build a vehicle from scratch. Later overseen by a former Tesla engineer, the project reportedly laid off 190 people in 2019 and we all assumed that was the end of it.
Now, Reuters reports that Apple is back in the car business and that it is hoping to build a vehicle for consumers as opposed to the often examined always elusive autonomous robo-taxi. The report cites “two people familiar with the effort” who Reuters didn’t name because the plans aren’t yet public.
A third person who has seen Apple’s latest battery design says that the tech could “radically” reduce the cost of batteries for the EV ad increase range for the vehicle, both features that every automaker today is chasing.
While Apple has billions to spend, making the leap from consumer electronics to automotive is a massive one. Just look at how many automotive startups have failed in the last decade. Even Tesla, the most successful so far, took nearly 20 years to turn a profit on cars and it’s still a small one.
The report says Apple is likely to rely on a partner to actually build the cars, a role manufacturers like Valmet Automotive and Magna Steyr serve to other automakers already. The report suggests that Apple could instead sell or license the tech, including an autonomous driving system, to traditional automakers. On the autonomous tech front, Apple recently added lidar sensors to its newest models, a massive step in reducing the cost of these sensors necessary to autonomous driving tech.
The project was expected to be ready for 2024, but COVID-related delays could push this back to 2025.