Apple shifts gears from electric car to focus on generative AI

After 10 years, Apple ends electric car project titan to prioritize AI

Shantanu Poswal
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Courtesy: Fickr

After over a decade of secretive development costing billions, Apple has officially ended its long-rumoured project to build an electric vehicle, according to multiple reports.

Employees were informed during an internal meeting on Tuesday that the Silicon Valley tech giant is shutting down the initiative known as Project Titan. Some will be laid off while others are reassigned to focus on artificial intelligence.

The cancellation marks a major reversal for Apple's auto ambitions. CEO Tim Cook had hinted at interest in the past but never confirmed the self-driving car plans.

Started in 2014, Project Titan struggled with challenges in bringing a product to market. Its vision was scaled back over the years from a fully autonomous vehicle to including some self-driving capabilities like Tesla's.

The team of engineers recruited from carmakers could not overcome hurdles by Apple's hoped launch target of 2028. This year, key executive Doug Field left the project to join Ford.

According to Bloomberg, news of the shutdown surprised team members. The reported shift to AI aligns with Cook recently touting major efforts in the field this year.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk reacted to Apple's decision with a mocking tweet. But most analysts believe it is prudent given the immense costs and intense competition.

Apple's auto industry experience can still be utilized for in-car entertainment and autonomous software. But its own vehicle was too ambitious a first step. Focusing on AI fits Apple's strengths and growth priorities.