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Apple Terminates Project Titan: The End of its Autonomous Electric Car Ambitions

Apple made an unexpected announcement to its project team on Tuesday, revealing its decision to terminate its long-running and secretive development of an autonomous electric car. Hundreds of employees are expected to be affected by this decision, with some being redeployed to Apple’s generative AI initiatives, and others given a 90-day window to find new roles within the company or face potential termination.

Project Titan, as it was internally known, had around 1,400 employees at the time of its discontinuation, according to a source familiar with the matter. This move comes at a time when many traditional automakers are reconsidering their investments in electric vehicles and with increased scrutiny on autonomous vehicle projects. Apple, long seen as a potential disruptor in the automotive industry, had hoped to leverage its technological prowess to create new revenue streams.

Initially launched in 2014, Project Titan faced multiple strategic shifts over the years, with Apple exploring the possibilities of creating a fully autonomous vehicle or an all-electric car to compete with Tesla. In recent months, there was pressure from Apple’s leadership and board to expedite the project’s development and bring a product to market sooner.


Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, and Kevin Lynch, Vice President in charge of Titan, delivered the news to the team, which lasted about 12 minutes and didn’t allow for questions. Despite the abruptness of the announcement, the decision was described as not entirely surprising, given the project’s fluctuating priorities over the years.

Throughout its development, Project Titan saw several high-profile automotive executives join and depart, including Doug Field, a former Tesla executive, and Ulrich Kranz, a former BMW executive. Apple’s discussions with various companies for partnerships, including Canoo, Hyundai, and Kia, underscored its ambitious plans for the project. However, the company ultimately decided to wind down its automotive endeavors.


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