Apple car: when will it arrive and how will the Apple car be?

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By: Jeet Ghosh

Last Update: 2021-02-20 01:22:11 IST

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Launched almost 15 years ago, Project Titan has not yet seen the light. But according to the latest rumors, the Apple car could hit the market within a few years.

Halfway between a novel and the financial news, the Apple Car, the car with the brand of the bitten Apple, has been making headlines for almost 15 years. But what do we know about this mysterious project so far? At what point is the development of one of the most anticipated and discussed cars ever?

Project Titan, this is the name of the car project made in Cupertino, dates back to 2007, when electric cars and autonomous cars were little more than the dreams of visionary entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk . But just in 2007 Jobs decided to temporarily set aside Titan to dedicate soul, body and corporate resources to a much smaller object that would revolutionize the lives of all of us: the iPhone.

The Apple Car disappears from the radars of journalists and enthusiasts until 2015, when several photos appeared on Business Insider  show minivans with mysterious electronic equipment on the roof. Some investigations by the newspaper link the license plates of those vehicles to a rental agreement in the name of Apple. In the same article, an anonymous Apple employee declares that Apple would have made life difficult for Tesla in the race to the e-car.

And it was with Tesla in those years that a battle began that was fought to the sound of engineers and designers convinced with bonuses and stock options to move from one company to another. And to think that only two years earlier, but it will only be discovered at the end of 2020, Musk had tried to sell Tesla to Apple itself for a tenth of its value, obtaining a dry refusal from Tim Cook. 

APPLE vs TESLA

Meanwhile, Apple continues its research: in 2016 the company purchases land and real estate in the Sunnyvale area, California, and hires other managers and engineers from Tesla. From that moment, and for about three years, nothing more is known about Titan. Rumors in the Valley and in the newspapers are that Apple has abandoned the idea of ​​developing its own electric car and is concentrating on technologies for autonomous driving. But there is no evidence of any kind. Until early 2019, when Apple fires 200 people employed in the "autonomous car" department and explains the operation as part of a process of rationalizing resources.

A few months later, the sighting of new cars attributable to Apple and equipped with cameras, sensors and LIDAR confirm that Cupertino's interest in driverless cars has by no means subsided. And indeed, at the end of December 2020, a Reuters article claims that Apple is still actively working on the development of an autonomous vehicle that could be presented as early as 2024. But, the news agency specifies, Apple may also decide to reduce the scope of the project to driverless driving technology to be applied to cars from other manufacturers.

2024 or 2028? 

Among these, Hyundai and Nissan seem to be at the forefront. Nissan in particular, which has been suffering from over-production in the United States for years, could use its collaboration with Apple to open up a whole new market segment. Nissan's CEO himself recently declared his company's opening to a partnership with Cupertino. Also because, as reported by Reuters, Tim Cook's company would be working on a new generation of batteries, with a revolutionary design and production costs much lower than the current ones that could make e-cars competitive and affordable too. for the general public.

However, many analysts and industry experts believe 2024 to be an implausible date for the presentation of a car to be put on the market immediately: Apple could decide to present a prototype, but it is certainly not in its style. More likely that the wait will last at least until 2028, when the company could launch an innovative autonomous driving system on the market, probably integrated with newly designed smartphones, enormously more powerful and performing than the current ones.

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