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Apple Car launch pushed years with new design revamp unveiled

Expectations have been dialled back.

  • The design of the Apple Car EV has been simplified
  • Its driving autonomy level has been significantly dialled back to help bring it to production
  • Its launch date has also been moved back for wiggle room

Published on Jan 24, 2024 at 5:21PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Jan 25, 2024 at 1:25PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Alessandro Renesis

The design of the Apple Car EV has been simplified and the potential launch date pushed back.

Per reports by Bloomberg, after board meetings, the car has been downgraded to Level 2+ autonomy.

That’s a downgrade, as it was previously planned to be a truly-driverless Level 4 according to someone close to the project.

Apple Car launch pushed years with new design revamp unveiled
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The source asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

Meanwhile, Apple has formally declined to comment on the plans.

Level 2 autonomy means that, while the car can steer and accelerate, the driver has to monitor everything and be ready to take over at any time.

Level 4 allows the vehicle to perform all driving under certain circumstances, with human override still required.

Before that, Apple had even more ambitious aims for the Apple Car, codename Titan and T172, to be a Level 5 system.

This allows all driving to be carried out by the vehicle unmonitored without human attention or interaction – meaning they can watch a film of even sleep.

It’s hoped this less ambitious design will help the tech giant finally bring the EV to market.

The news on the Apple Car also states that the 2026 projected launch date will be pushed back to 2028.

It’s said that internally these shifts are being hailed as a pivotal moment for the project.

The car has been one of the company’s most expensive research and development projects for almost 10 years.

While years have been spent developing patents for powertrains, self-driving hardware and software, car interiors and exteriors, and other key components – the Apple Car has failed to reach the formal prototype stage.

It’s up for debate whether the Apple Car will be created with the reduced expectations or be scrapped entirely.

It’s hoped that, after an initial launch, the Level 2 system can be upgraded to Level 4.

While nowhere near the road yet, the secretive Apple car has seen several rounds of layoffs, boss turnover, delays and strategy changes.

The company famously tries to keep everything in-house, but this being its first car, a collaboration with an automaker is expected.

Apple will team up with a third-party to get the battery pack and the ‘engine’, but the software will be engineered in-house.

Hyundai, BMW, Daimler and Kia have all been linked to the project.

Its hoped the new category for the smartphone maker could reinvigorate sales growth.

Sales of the iPhone stalled in 2023 as the smartphone market reached maturity.

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