It feels like we’ve been talking about an Apple car forever now. The tech giant has been rumored to be working on an autonomous or semi-autonomous EV for almost a decade, but there is zero outward indication that such a project has even crossed its mind. That said, a new report from Bloomberg suggests that the Apple car is real and coming relatively soon.
Project Titan, as the car is called internally, is said to have been plagued by delays and the loss of key executives over time. Bloomberg reported that Apple installed VP Kevin Lynch to oversee the project in 2021, who set a 2028 deadline for the car. The report noted that Apple had been working toward an autonomous vehicle, but a reality check made it clear that a car without a steering wheel isn’t an achievable goal.
Instead, Apple is looking at driver assistance tech closer to what we see from Tesla, which includes adaptive cruise with lane centering and steering/braking support. The driver has to be alert and ready to take control back at any time, which is a downgrade from the Level 4 or Level 5 driving autonomy Apple sought at first. Those two levels give the vehicle near complete control, and Level 5 vehicles wouldn’t need a driver or steering wheel.
It might seem weird that the iPhone company wants to make a car but consider the upsides. The more screens Apple has in front of you and the more time you spend around its tech, the more opportunity it has to profit from selling apps and subscription features. The company’s focus on user privacy will also likely become more of a selling point as more people realize how hard their vehicles are spying on them.