Apple’s ambitious electric vehicle project, dubbed “Apple Car,” faces further setbacks and strategic shifts, pushing its potential launch to at least 2028. After initially aiming for a fully autonomous vehicle, Apple has downsized its goals, opting for a more basic electric car with limited driver-assistance features.
Since the inception of Apple’s electric vehicle project in 2014, it has been plagued by delays and shifting ambitions. Initial estimates targeted a 2019 release, but the project has faced repeated setbacks and leadership changes. The last credible report regarding the project pointed to a 2025 release.
Apple maintains investment in Apple Car despite setbacks
According to a new report from Bloomberg, the Apple Car is now being developed with a “Level 2+” system. This system includes features such as autonomous lane centering and adaptive cruise control. The shift represents a departure from the previous plan, which aimed for Level 4 autonomy capable of driving autonomously in limited circumstances. The strategic adjustments have been influenced by Apple’s board, CEO Tim Cook, and project head Kevin Lynch, marking a pivotal moment for the project.
Despite the challenges, Apple has maintained significant financial investments in the Apple Car. Reports suggest that the company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars annually, emphasizing the project’s importance. Apple’s stock performance has shown resilience, climbing over 38% in the last year, highlighting investor interest and confidence in the company’s long-term vision.
The electric vehicle market is fiercely competitive, with players like Tesla, Ford, GMC, and Rivian vying for market share. Executives from major vehicle manufacturers have expressed doubts about the profitability and safety of fully autonomous vehicles, adding complexity to the industry. Apple’s strategic adjustments align with the broader challenges faced by companies entering the evolving electric vehicle market.
Internal dynamics have played a crucial role in shaping Apple’s electric vehicle project. Frenzied meetings involving Tim Cook, Apple’s board, and project head Kevin Lynch reflect the internal pressure to finalize and execute the project. The decision to scale back features has sparked internal criticism, with some employees raising questions about Apple’s ability to innovate in the automotive space.
As Apple navigates this critical juncture, the electric vehicle market eagerly awaits the unveiling of the the tech giant’s more modest electric vehicle. The success or failure of this endeavor could significantly influence Apple’s future in the automotive market.