Apple’s planned autonomous car has hit another road bump.
The debut of the decade-old project has been pushed back to at least 2028, according to a new report from Bloomberg. If that wasn’t bad enough, the EV’s autonomous technology has also been reportedly downgraded to Level 2+.
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Little is known about the Apple car despite being one of the biggest (and most expensive) projects in the $3 trillion company’s history. Reports over the years suggest that the company started working on the EV—which is rumored to have used the code names Titan and T172—in earnest back in 2014. A full decade later, there appears to have been little if any concrete progress. What we do know, is that the project has been delayed several times and gone through its fair share of personnel and strategic shakeups.
Now, the project has been delayed yet again. In 2022, the company felt that it would release a car by 2026 that came equipped with advanced self-driving features. Two years later, that timeline looks to have been overly ambitious, according to sources with knowledge of the project who talked to Bloomberg. The company now hopes to introduce the car in 2028.
Another delay isn’t the only bad news. It also seems that it’s time to stop calling the vehicle a self-driving car. The company is now focused on delivering driver-assistance features similar to those found on EVs made Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, and other premium automakers, according to Bloomberg. The car is now expected to feature Level 2+ autonomy, meaning it will be able to assist with steering, braking, and accelerating, but its human driver must be ready to take over control at any moment.
Previously, Apple had hoped to launch an EV that could fully operate itself in certain situations (Level 4 autonomy), which was already a downgrade from when the company hoped it would be able to drive itself anywhere in any circumstances (Level 5). The company reportedly intends to release an updated system offering better auto sometime after launch.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Robb Report.
Apple reportedly views its car, whether it’s self-driving or not, as a way of rejuvenating its sales numbers, which have begun to stall in recent years. Even if the company can manage to somehow develop and produce a car on its new timeline, it remains to be seen if it will make much of a difference. Getting into the car game is hard, after all, as Rivian and Lucid can attest.
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