Apple’s long-discussed autonomous car project has been extra quiet this year, and a new report suggests that the program may need to make some moves if it hopes to enter mass production anytime soon.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a post on X, developments on the Apple Car, dubbed “Project Titan” internally, appear to have “lost all visibility,” as MacRumors reports. The analyst also added that Apple may need to move toward an acquisition strategy to enter the market on its initial timeframe, with the company most recently hoping it would have a vehicle out to consumers by 2026.
The development of the Apple Car seems to have lost all visibility at the moment. If Apple doesn't adopt an acquisition strategy to enter the automotive market, I doubt that the Apple Car can go into mass production within the next years.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) September 27, 2023
Apple doesn’t have any manufacturing partners for the car project, though rumors swirled a few years ago about potential partnerships for the project. Still, with the help of a manufacturing partner, Apple may have a better chance of bringing the vehicle to market as quickly as it hopes to.
Testing for the Apple Car was previously rumored to begin in 2025, though with 2023 nearly coming to a close, it may be difficult for the company to achieve that timeframe. Additionally, MacRumors notes that the Vision Pro headset appears to be a priority for Apple at the current time, and the most recent update from the car project was back in March.
A report said in March that the Apple Car’s self-driving capabilities had been improved, and the company was expanding its testing program for Project Titan. Still, no rumors have surfaced since then, and it’s tough to say what the status of the project is right now.
Last year, reports showed that Apple was delaying its car project to 2026 after previously aiming to launch the vehicle a year earlier. In the same update, sources said the project had also been scaled back significantly.
Past rumors also said that the vehicle would not include a steering wheel or pedals and that the vehicle would be self-driving upon release. However, reports later said that neither would be feasible. It’s not clear if the company has made any progress on a final design, though the latest rumors suggest that the company will instead debut a car with some guided highway driving features, though it won’t be able to operate autonomously all the time.
Apple has also faced multiple changes to those working on Project Titan, losing former project lead Steven Zadesky, Senior Director of Engineering Dr. Michael Schwekutsch, and Vice President of Special Projects and former Tesla executive Doug Fields.