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It’s official: You’re not getting an Apple Car. According to Bloomberg, the company behind the iPhone, Mac, and now Vision Pro is shuttering its self-driving electric car plans, following a ten-year development period.

Bloomberg reports that Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and vice president of the electric car project Kevin Lynch shared the update with a team of nearly 2,000 Apple employees working on the car. These employees were caught off-guard, and shared the experience with Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity, as Apple has not made the news public yet.

While Apple plans to shift many of those thousands of employees to generative AI work, it will lay off others. Bloomberg could not say how many employees will be impacted.

A brief history of Project Titan

While Apple never officially commented on its electric car project, codenamed Project Titan, it’s been in the rumor mill for the past decade. Following a long period of rumor and speculation, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2016 that Apple had hired former senior executive Bob Mansfield to run the project. From here, Apple continued hiring and research, and following rejections from many major car brands, partnered with Volkswagen on a driverless van.

Apple hired Doug Field, former vice president of engineering at Tesla, in 2018, then laid off over 200 people from Project Titan in 2019, before buying up the failing self-driving startup Things continued to go downhill for Project Titan: Doug Field left the project in 2021, and in late 2022, Bloomberg reported that Apple scaled back self-driving capabilities from all roads to just highways. In that same report, we learned Apple had plans to sell its car for just under $100,000, but as we know today, that isn’t going to happen.

What does this mean for Apple?

If Apple got its act together and released a solid car to compete with Tesla and other high-end electric vehicles in, say, 2020, I think that’d be another story. But the fact that this project was still up and running in 2024 after roughly a decade in the works means it just wasn’t working.

And, honestly, I think that’s fine. Apple doesn’t need to make a car. In fact, they could take the money and resources they were burning on Project Titan and pour it into more practical endeavors. Generative AI is the obvious focus here: Apple was unprepared for the rise of ChatGPT and its ilk, and is reportedly planning to roll out many new AI features in updates like iOS 18. Those thousands of Project Titan employees could certainly prove useful in that sprint, as the company has a lot of catch up to do.

Personally, I’d love to see Apple put more resources into software in general. Its hardware team is killing it: The Mac lineup has arguably never been better, and you can’t really go wrong picking up an iPhone or an iPad these days. But macOS, iOS, and iPadOS could use some debugging and clean up. (I need System Settings to not be such a mess, Apple.)

It’ll be interesting to see if this restructuring has a noticeable impact on Apple’s products and services. That said, the company currently employs over 160,000 people across its departments, so it might not be as impactful as it seems on the surface—especially since Apple is taking the unfortunate decision of laying off a number of those employees.

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