Monday, January 29, 2024 by Laura Harris
Tech mega-corporation Apple is planning to launch its first-ever electric vehicle (EV) in 2028 after years of setbacks, executive turnover and ambitious visions of creating a fully autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel.
The EV project, known as Project Titan and T172, has been marred by leadership changes, strategy shifts, layoffs and multiple delays since its inception in 2014. However, the initial dream of achieving Level 4 autonomy has proven to be unrealistic, so Apple adjusted its strategy and acknowledged the limitations of its original version. Insiders revealed that the big tech company is now shifting its focus towards an EV with more limited driver-assistance features, akin to the autopilot system of Tesla.
According to several reports, the 2028 Apple car will operate on a Level 2+ autonomy system, which requires drivers to remain attentive and ready to take control when needed. The move comes after a series of deliberations, including high-stakes discussions involving the board members of Apple, including CEO Tim Cook and project head Kevin Lynch.
However, Apple still plans to later release an upgraded system supporting Level 4 autonomy in specific conditions, with eventual aspirations for Level 5 autonomy, enabling the car to drive itself anywhere under any circumstances. Multiple sources suggest that Apple may have the capability to enhance the autonomy features of its EV through software updates over time and may also be able to adapt to evolving international regulatory standards.
Some employees view the project as a “Tesla-me-too project,” expressing their doubts about its ability to stand out in a competitive EV market.
The EV project has been one of the most expensive research and development endeavors of the big tech company, costing hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Despite years of work on powertrains, self-driving hardware and software and other components, the vehicle has not yet reached the formal prototype stage.
In 2023, Cook faced pressure from the board to present a viable plan for Project Titan or consider abandoning the project altogether. But up until now, the project has failed to produce one. Meaning to say, some executives are still skeptical about achieving an iPhone-like profit margin in the EV project.
While Apple sees the EV, potentially priced at around $100,000, as a way to enter the growing electric vehicle market and increase revenue, it may be a little too late as EV manufacturers like Lordstown Motors are starting to file for bankruptcy protections in June 2023. (Related: EV COLLAPSE: Electric vehicle manufacturer Lordstown Motors files for bankruptcy.)
According to its recent filings, Lordstown Motors just had $108.1 million in cash available at the end of March. During the first quarter of 2023, it posted a loss of $171.1 million. In response, Lordstown looked for potential buyers to take over its assets.
This bankruptcy is not the first – and likely not going to be the last – among the many EV startups that went public in the past few years. And given the situation, Apple could also end up the same.
The latest news about the EV push and the lies that often accompany it can be found at GreenNewDeal.news.
Watch this video to learn more about how EV cars, lithium-ion battery tech and solar power work together.
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