Electric vehicles have very quickly dominated news cycles, recent economic forecasts, and automobile trend analyses. They are very clearly the future of transportation as we look to reduce our carbon emissions through the electrification of our transport methods. This is evident by Tesla’s meteoric rise, as well as the huge growth of Chinese electric car manufacturers like Xpeng.
Perhaps Apple was inspired by Tesla’s extreme growth, as it came as a surprise to many when the company announced it was releasing its own electric vehicle. Many thought it could have been fake news or a joke, but the rumors continued to circulate, gaining some tangible traction. But it’s been a while since we heard about this project. What’s going on with it, and what Apple Car updates have there been? Find out more below.
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What Is the Apple Car?
The Apple Car is Apple’s response to a burgeoning electric vehicle market. Tesla paved the way for mainstream, minimalist, and high-tech EVs, and Apple’s planning to compete with it and provide users with an alternative. No one’s really sure why Apple decided to make such a drastic shift in its operations, going from consumer tech like smartphones and tablets to a full-scale, functional car. At first, many rumors stated that the company wanted to make the car fully self-drivable, have a unique U-shaped interior (similar to a limousine), and have other high-tech features. But some reports state that there are major changes happening behind the scene.
Apple Car Update: Is it Still Happening?
There weren’t any Apple Car updates for a while as the company remained silent about the project. Publications weren’t posting about it, and it seemed like the initial rumors were false and led nowhere. Artists had made 3D renders of what they thought the car would look like, and many speculated on what features would go into the car, yet the hype around it died down quickly. Many wondered if the project was still happening at all.
We can confirm that the Apple Car project is still under development, with Apple’s AI and machine learning expert John Giannandrea leading the team and Kevin Lynch (known for his work on the Apple Watch) assisting. The project is known internally as Project Titan and was originally slated for a 2020 release. Although the car is still under development, many plans, features, and expectations have shifted drastically.
Apple Car Update: More Details
Below are a few Apple Car updates that have occurred within the team internally and what we might be able to expect from the Apple Car’s release:
Many were worried that the Car would be extremely unaffordable, seeing as Apple has a bit of a reputation for creating costly consumer tech items. In the 2016 days, when the rumors were fresh, there was no concrete speculation around the Apple Car’s pricing plans. We can confirm through fresh reports that the company is planning to release the product sometime in 2026 and try to keep it relatively affordable at less than $100,000.
Many Teslas (the Apple Car’s main competitor) can be found for less than $100,000 as well, so it would be in Apple’s best interest to try and keep the identifiable ethos of the company’s minimalist yet high-tech aesthetic while keeping it as affordable as possible. Unlike smartphones and tablets, you won’t get a high volume of customers for a car.
Early rumors claimed that the Apple Car would be fully autonomous, meaning that drivers can sit back and relax as the car drives by itself. That would be the main reason why the project is led by an AI and machine learning expert. Despite the ambition, newer reports suggest that Apple is looking to make the car semi-autonomous instead. We’ve seen how much trouble Tesla is experiencing trying to make its cars fully autonomous, and it seems as if Apple is experiencing similar problems. The new semi-autonomous plans will have the car make smart suggestions to you as you drive and provide some self-driving capabilities on easy layouts like highways.
Some rumors also stated that the car would have a U-shaped limousine interior design. This has been changed, and Apple is going for a more traditional design instead. Many were excited to see how the company would create a U-shaped interior design work, but there could be many reasons why it would opt for an easier layout, from security reasons to regulatory compliance.
The higher-end Tesla S-Class is the primary competition for the Apple Car, with many predicting that the vehicle will be priced closer to the $100,000 mark than below it. The cheapest Tesla car is currently $47,000, with the company seeking to make cheaper models in the future as electric vehicle technology becomes more widely accessible.
On top of that, almost every single major automobile manufacturer has long identified the need to enter the electric vehicle market and has already begun extensive operations to produce their own models. Could Apple compete with the likes of Ford, GM, Mercedez Benz, or BMW, all of which have pedigree, a proven business model in the automobile industry, and the necessary infrastructure to mass-produce any new vehicles they make?