Apple has learned that building an autonomous vehicle is hard, even if you’re one of the biggest tech companies in the world.
According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, Apple is scaling back the design of its first self-driving car and even delaying the launch. The latest intel said it would be released in 2025, but now the vehicle will reportedly be delayed until 2026.
Apple has been working on its secretive AV project, dubbed “Titan” for years. In 2021, details emerged about the vehicle’s design not having a steering wheel or pedals, making it really, really autonomous as compared to other AVs like those made by Tesla. But now it seems Apple has been humbled by technological constraints.
“[The project] has been in limbo for the past several months as Apple executives grappled with the reality that its vision for a fully autonomous vehicle — without a steering wheel or pedals — isn’t feasible with current technology,” Gurman reports.
Apple has now been forced to set its sights a little lower, with a new strategy of getting the vehicle to market. The tech giant’s revamped plans include an AV with a steering wheel and pedals, and any autonomous features will only be available on highways. In this scenario, the driver of the “Apple Car” would be alerted when it’s time to take manual control of the wheel.
Per Gurman, Apple’s AV would use a combination of cameras and lidar/radar sensors, and be powered by an onboard computer system “equal to about four of Apple’s highest-end Mac chips combined.” The chip, made in-house by Apple engineers, is said to be in its advanced stages and almost ready for production.
Initially, the Apple AV was rumored to have a $120,000 price tag, but with these changes it is expected to sell for the bargain price of $100,000.
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