Apple has pushed the prospective launch of its long-awaited self-driving car back about a year to 2026, Bloomberg reports. Sources with knowledge of the company’s plans tell Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman that Apple is not only delaying the car project, called Titan internally, but scaling back the car’s self-driving features as well as it comes to terms with reality.
Apple car no longer fully self-driving
Previous reports claimed that Apple wanted to launch the first car to offer “Level 5” autonomy. The car would be able to get people to their destination without any input from a driver. There wouldn’t be any need for a steering wheel or pedals.
According to Bloomberg, Apple recently accepted that this is not possible with current technology. As a result, Apple’s upcoming car will feature a significantly less ambitious design, complete with a steering wheel, an accelerator, and a brake pedal. The Apple car will still support full autonomous capabilities, but only when driving on highways.
“Apple currently plans to develop a vehicle that lets drivers conduct other tasks — say, watch a movie or play a game — on a freeway and be alerted with ample time to switch over to manual control if they reach city streets or encounter inclement weather,” says Gurman. “The company has discussed launching the feature in North America initially and then improving and expanding it over time.”
As for the price, sources say that Apple initially planned to sell its self-driving car for over $120,000. Given the recent changes to Apple’s plans, the company is now reportedly aiming to sell the car to consumers for less than $100,000.
Unsurprisingly, the report also notes that Apple hasn’t settled on a design. The car is currently said to be in the “pre-prototype” stage, but Apple wants to finalize the design in 2023 and settle on the features by the end of 2024. Extensive testing will then begin in 2025.
We still don’t know what the car will look like, but the report suggests that “the plan is to produce something more like a traditional car, with a driver’s seat.”
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