April 20, 2024

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Apple Disbands Secret Car Project, Shifts Focus to AI

Approximately two thousand individuals were involved in the undisclosed project, which Apple never officially acknowledged. According to Bloomberg News, many team members will transition to the tech giant’s artificial intelligence (AI) division.

Dubbed the Special Projects Group within CEO Tim Cook’s Project Titan initiative, the Apple car endeavour was shrouded in secrecy. Initially rumoured to be developing a fully autonomous vehicle devoid of traditional driving controls, the company poured billions into research and development, yet the project remained years away from fruition.

Renowned Silicon Valley-based consultant Ray Wang hailed the move as a strategic and overdue decision, citing the burgeoning demand for AI technology. As Apple explores new avenues beyond its iconic iPhone and computer products, its recent foray into the virtual reality realm with the Vision Pro headset underscores its diversification efforts.

Counterpoint, a research firm, underscored the burgeoning market for AI in consumer electronics, predicting significant growth in generative AI smartphone shipments. While the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has softened amidst high borrowing costs, the AI sector continues to thrive, prompting Apple’s strategic reallocation of resources.

The EV market’s sluggishness has prompted industry giants like Ford and General Motors to postpone expansion plans, while electric truck manufacturer Rivian anticipates stagnant production growth and has announced layoffs. Even Tesla, led by billionaire Elon Musk, foresees weaker sales growth in comparison to 2023, resorting to price cuts amid stiff competition from Chinese counterparts like BYD.

Musk, known for his candid social media presence, responded to reports of Apple winding down its car project with emojis on platform X, formerly Twitter, signalling acknowledgment of the industry dynamics and perhaps hinting at Apple’s pivot towards AI as a more promising arena for innovation.