Apple Car Reportedly Won’t Be Self-Driving and Now Delayed Until 2026
The car will now have a steering wheel, pedals, and just about everything like a normal car, but a bevy of driver-assistance hardware and a price around $100K.
Apple's ambitious self-driving car took a major step back and out recently, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Citing unnamed sources within Apple's long-running, so-called Project Titan car program, the outlet reported that Apple's car won't be released until 2026 at the earliest and would not be completely self-driving, which has been widely reported in the past. The Cupertino-based hardware and software company has been working on its self-driving car for five years or longer, poaching several industry executives and insiders to the highly secretive program—and reportedly abandoning the project once already.
The report says that the current Apple Watch operating system boss Kevin Lynch is leading the effort to build Apple's vehicle, which could cost about $100,000—if it ever goes on sale. That's less than the reported $120,000 price tag that's been attached to the car before, although most of the difference is the lack of autonomous hardware the Apple car will reportedly skip. Its core is still a bevy of hardware—including Lidar, radar, and cameras—that will offer a high degree of autonomy, but the car will still need a driver sitting in front of a steering wheel.
That reportedly also will change the way the upcoming Apple car will look. Instead of a limo-type interior, where passengers would sit facing each other, the new, revised design will more closely resemble a traditional car. Former CEO for Canoo, Ulrich Kranz, is reportedly leading the design team that is building the car and includes executives from Tesla and the VW Group, including Porsche and Lamborghini.
The sizable team behind the Apple car numbers roughly 1,000 employees, according to the report, scattered across the world in locations including California, Arizona, Switzerland and Canada. Test Lexus SUVs equipped with prototype hardware are reportedly field-testing some of the upcoming systems that will be used in the upcoming car, including a grade-based autonomous system called a "Rocket Score" for its self-driving systems.
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