Apple Car Plans Scaled Back Considerably to Ensure Launch by 2026

apple car launch

Apple has scaled back its plans for a self-driving electric vehicle. The Cupertino-based tech giant has also pushed back its target launch date for the Apple Car to 2026. The project will now focus on a less-ambitious design. The vehicle will include a steering wheel and pedals and will only offer full autonomous capabilities on highways.

Apple Execs Realize Ambitions for Fully Autonomous Car Not Feasible With Current Technology

The company’s car project, known as Project Titan inside the company, has been stagnant for several months. Executives realized that their vision for a fully autonomous vehicle is not feasible with current technology. Hoping to launch the Apple Car in the near future, adjustments needed to be made.

Speaking anonymously to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, several people with knowledge of Project Titan leaked the program’s new direction. They also indicated the Cupertino-based tech giant has pushed back its planned launch date to 2026.

In the face of technological hurdles it couldn’t overcome yet, the team decided to dramatically scale back its plans for the Apple Car. Under the new vision, the vehicle will include a steering wheel and pedals. Fully autonomous driving will only be available on supported highways.

This shift would bring the Apple Car close in capability to Chevrolet’s Bolt EUV. That vehicle offers General Motors’ SuperCruise technology. This allows drivers to go hands-free on more than 200,000 miles worth of roads in the U.S. and Canada.

It’s important to note that despite years of development and testing, no automaker has been able to pull off Level 5 autonomy for its vehicles. Considered the pinnacle of self-driving technology, Level 5 autonomy would allow a vehicle to completely drive itself in almost all conditions.

Cupertino Changes Gears to Recognize Challenges Posed by Autonomous Driving, Launch Apple Car by 2026

The changes highlight the challenges Apple faces as it enters a new product category and takes on technological obstacles that have stymied some of the world’s biggest companies. The secretive project, which has been in development for several years, hopes to provide Apple with a new source of revenue. At the same time, the projects appearing to test the limits of the company’s capabilities.

Apple plans to develop a vehicle that allows drivers to conduct other tasks while on the freeway, alerting them with enough time to switch to manual control if they encounter inclement weather or leave the highway. Odds are, the tech giant will launch the feature in North America first, with plans to improve and expand it over time.

According to those familiar with the matter, Apple plans to debut the vehicle in 2026. It will incorporate cameras along with LiDAR and radar sensors, with an on-board computer equivalent to four of Apple’s highest-end Mac chips.

Originally, the Apple Car was expected to sell for more than $120,000. Under the latest vision, it should sell for just under $100,000. That’s roughly in line with pricing for Tesla’s Model S and the Mercedes-Benz EQS.

10 thoughts on “Apple Car Plans Scaled Back Considerably to Ensure Launch by 2026

  • LOL He said Apple Car. Anybody want to go even money Apple cancels ALL autonomous ambitions say oh..somewhere between now and 2026??? I LOVE that date – I wish I was in the boardroom when they were pulling Apple Car dates out of their ….databases….2026? Sure, sounds good to me..forget Tesla in 3 years … Apple shall be lucky they can sneak their Carplay and iTunes spyware on user’s vehicles and call it a passive yet lucrative day. Was checking out my original Apple me to thinking if they actually did do a car it would run backwards – just like my Apple Watch V1 does. Back when they really did. Think Different. 🍎

  • Currently have a 2021 VW ID.4 that has a driver assist feature. It will steer as long as it sees the lines on the road. Have to keep hands or a hand on the wheel otherwise it will say “take over steering”. It will stop for cars in front of it but, does not recognize traffic signals or stop signs. It’s pretty much driver assist with adaptive cruise control.

    As far as range and charging are concerned, pretty much always charge at home with Clipper Creek 40A level 2 charger. The ID.4 gets around 240 miles during the warm weather months. During the dead of winter in Illinois about 180 miles @ zero degrees Fahrenheit.

    Software is not VWs core competency. All of the MY 21 ID.4s will have a dealer delivered software update campaign started as of today. With VW the car build quality is good. Software not so good. Kind of the opposite of Tesla. Haven’t missed going to the gas station!

    1. Yes I too get nagged if I take my hands off of the steering wheel for more than a second or two, I also get nagged when stopped at an intersection and the vehicle in front of me pulls away.

      The auto steering helps reduce fatigue as you only need to lightly hold the steering wheel. Yes, mine too needs to see the lane markers.

      I was in reverse when the wind blew a big plastic bag across and let me tell you the pedestrian safety system quickly slammed on the brakes.

  • Earlier this year Apple seem to indicate that they were trying to compete with Google and release their version of Android Automotive as an Apple Car Play operating system for vehicles. Kind of strange because they never came up with a unique name for the operating system and is easily confused with the Apple Car Play App. Blackberry QNX OS for cars is actually in use on many vehicles today. Blackberry purchased QNX a few years back and is now their major business vs phones.

    As a result of the above, I would think that Apple’s priority would be releasing a CarPlay operating system and trying to get major legacy car manufacturers on board with using the Apple CarPlay operating system over that of Google Automotive and Blackberry QNX OS for cars.

    The release of a car is a more daunting task as it’s a major undertaking to meet the regulatory requirements and gain the manufacturing knowhow to produce a car. You can look to Lucid Air, Rivian and yes, Tesla as recent examples of the struggles involved in producing cars as a new automotive company.

    I remember about 5 years ago when the Apple Car talk started up, techie types were talking about full autonomous driving by 2023 and the trucks would be first to be fully autonomous on our highways before cars. Now that we are almost in 2023, the dreams of full autonomous vehicles are far from being brought to reality. A few electric trucks have been introduced. None are fully autonomous. For 2023 vehicles are pretty much driver assist orientated and we are still struggling to make it to 10% of electric vehicle adaption.

    Our driving habits and love for gas powered vehicles are pretty much imbedded with our societal norms and are proving to be very difficult to break. The Apple CarPlay operating system is a more achievable goal for Apple in my opinion than producing a car that will already be just another entrant in an already crowded field.

    1. “Our driving habits and love for gas powered vehicles are pretty much imbedded with our societal norms and are proving to be very difficult to break.”

      I debated on getting a full electric instead of the hybrid., but decided to wait and see how the range improves and such. That being said there are EV chargers all over San Diego, the Governor has a big program to get them most everywhere along the highways in California. I did opt for a 3 year loan on my 2020 Sonata so that I would have a good trade in should I feel the EV will be meeting my needs, next year maybe the time.

      “The Apple CarPlay operating system is a more achievable goal for Apple in my opinion than producing a car that will already be just another entrant in an already crowded field.”

      Something fully integrated with iOS. I do like the CarPlay I have now, navigation in the Sonata is pretty good, but Apple’s is better

      I am getting obsessive-compulsive about MPG. Not accelerating quickly, coasting to a stop so the regenerative braking charges the battery, driving the speed limit. I average 51 MPG.

    2. You must remember a little thing called Covid came along and threw the entire supply chain into chaos that exists today so blanket opinion based on pre plague years doesn’t count. Poor legacy auto was betting on gas anyway plague or not – aka losers. Despite that because of vertical integration and superior engineering Tesla sold more Y’s than any other but one car last quarter. A Toyota. That’s milestone sh*t. 343,000 total delivered just last quarter – think about that … ching ca ching…no struggles there at all considering they make more $$ per car than Toyota oddly enuff. 🇺🇸-made

    1. Full self driving vehicles will benefit older people the most over any other demographic other than the techie types that want the latest and greatest thing as the got to have toy.

      1. I currently drive a 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, with solar panels on the roof. I chose it in large part for the safety features such as the lane departure warning that will beep when you wander outside the white line. It also has lane keeping where it auto-steers; if take my hand off of the steering wheel it will keep it in lane, but after a few seconds I get warning to keep my hands on it. 360º cameras when backing up and moving forward at low speeds. Heads up display on the windshield. But it also has a lot of things for the techies.

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