Apple's electric self-driving car delayed again, to debut in 2026

  • Apple is now planning to use a less-ambitious design for its vehicle that includes a steering wheel and pedals.
A creative rendering of the Apple car (Photo courtesy: YouTube)
A creative rendering of the Apple car (Photo courtesy: YouTube)

Apple's electric and self-driving car project, dubbed Titan, has been postponed from the target launch date by about a year to 2026. The car project has been in limbo for past several months as the company's executives struggled with the reality that the vision of a fully autonomous vehicle, without a steering wheel or pedals, is not really possible with the current technology.

In fact, the company is now planning to use a less-ambitious design for its vehicle that includes a steering wheel and pedals and will only fully support full autonomous driving on highways. The company's initial vision was to offer ‘Level 5’ autonomous driving in its vehicle, that no automaker has still achieved. However, the current plan is considered below that because of its more limited scope.

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The vehicle project that has been underway for four years now is testing the company's technological limits but is meant to provide the company with a major moneymaker. Apple plans to develop a vehicle that lets drivers conduct other tasks such as 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.

The company is planning to launch the feature in North America initially and then improve and expand it over time.

At the heart of the Apple project is a powerful onboard computer system which has been codenamed Denali, named after the tallest mountain peak in North America. The processor’s performance is equal to about four of Apple’s highest-end Mac chips combined and is being developed by the company’s silicon engineering group. Currently, the chip is in an advanced state and is considered nearly production-ready. However, Apple might actually scale it down before the car's launch to lower costs.

First Published Date: 07 Dec 2022, 10:31 AM IST
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