Thursday, April 25, 2024
NewsApple Kills its Electric Car Project, Wants to Focus on Generative AI...

Apple Kills its Electric Car Project, Wants to Focus on Generative AI Instead

Apple will no longer be developping an electric autonomous car.

  • The tech company had been working on an autonomous electric car for close to 10 years.

  • The latest plans called for a car with level 2 driver assistance features to launch in 2028, priced around US $100,000.

  • Software engineers involved in the project will reportedly be transferred to work on generative AI technologies.

After close to 10 years in development, the Apple Car project has been officially cancelled.

According to sources cited by Automotive News, the employees affected to this project, about 2,000 people, were quite surprised when they received the announcement internally earlier today.

While Apple kept promising its autonomous electric car in public over the last few months, some signs hinted at a possible change of priorities.

Indeed, the tech company had recently downgraded its targets in terms of level of automation and market launch, which means that the car which was initially supposed to be a fully autonomous Level-4 vehicle was only going to feature Level-2+ technologies after all.

Another hint was that the Apple Car had been delayed until 2028, at which point it was expected to launch in the United States at a price of around $100,000, making it a luxury product rather than a mass-market commuter.

Despite this high price point, Apple executives were reportedly questioning the company’s ability to make the same profit margin on the Car as it does with its other products.

Faced with these questions as well as additional delays and multiple changes in the direction of the project, the Apple board also began to have concerns about spending millions every year on a product that never seemed to get closer to production.

Thus, the tech company has decided to refocus its efforts toward generative AI development in order to face new rivals such as Chat GPT.

This means that the software engineers that were assigned to the Apple Car project will gradually be moved to the AI division.

What is less certain is the future of other employees who worked on the Apple Car, such as designers and powertrain engineers.

This is another setback for autonomous vehicles, which have faced numerous difficulties after having made a strong start a few years ago.

Source: Automotive News

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