Apple Reportedly Aiming to Build Electric Car for 2024 Launch
Apple appears to be getting its electric-vehicle-focused Titan project back on its feet after a report indicated the company plans to launch an electric vehicle with autonomous capabilities in 2024 – although delays due to pandemics could push that forward until 2025.
The vehicle could also feature “breakthrough battery technology,” Reuters reported Monday after speaking to knowledgeable people.
Project Titan has been in the news and off the news for about six years. We last reported on the project about two years ago – and also pointed out a timetable for 2023-2025, citing a number of reports that suggest Apple was investigating the possibility of building such an automobile. True to form, the technology company itself has largely remained silent on this topic, although it has recognized in the past that it is researching “autonomous systems”.
According to Reuters’ sources, the vehicle would be built “for the mass market”. The report notes that this would be in stark contrast to companies like Waymo and GM-owned Cruise, which have focused on developing self-driving car ridesharing. However, the approach would be more similar to Tesla, which has been successful with its own electric vehicles with autonomous functions.
It is of course impossible to know what the regulations for self-driving cars will be in four years. Therefore, Apple’s autonomous kit could gradually be integrated and unlocked as the rules are relaxed.
It sounds like Apple is also heavily focused on battery design. An insider claims the technology can dramatically reduce the cost of batteries while improving range on current designs. According to Reuters, Apple is considering a unique monocell design that “inflates the individual cells in the battery and frees up space in the battery pack by eliminating bags and modules that hold battery materials.”
Instead of setting up the manufacturing facilities themselves to build the car, it is believed that Apple is likely working with another company to make the car.
Reuters also points out that there is still a possibility that Apple could reduce its ambitions by instead making its autonomous technology available to an established automaker, which means the highly anticipated “Apple car” may never show up .
According to reports over the past few years, Apple’s interest in electric cars with autonomous functions has been somewhat sporadic. The Project Titan unit is said to have laid off around 200 employees at the beginning of 2019.
However, a spokesperson at the time suggested that the company still has a strong interest in autonomous technology, saying, “We continue to believe that autonomous systems offer a great opportunity that Apple has unique ways to contribute.”
Digital Trends asked Apple to comment on Monday’s report. We’ll update this article when we hear something.