Apple Car Reportedly Faces Delays and Scales Back Fully Autonomous Plans

The Apple Car will indeed have a steering wheel and pedals

Apple Car in development
(Image: Apple)

We’re still in for a years-long wait until the long-anticipated Apple Car might hit the scene.

Apple has a foothold (if not complete dominance) in virtually every corner of our everyday tech-filled lives, but its long-vaunted car is still nowhere to be seen yet. Rumors have been swirling for years over whether it’s happening at all, and today’s news takes the plan to actually launch it in the next two years and kicks it into touch. Instead, Apple delayed “Project Titan” once again — at least until 2026, according to a recent Bloomberg piece.

Citing employees in the know, the date isn’t the only element of the Apple Car that will change by its ultimate arrival. The ambitious goal to make it fully autonomous “isn’t feasible with current technology”, per the Tuesday report. It will still have a steering wheel and pedals (that may be one reason for the delay), requiring a human in the equation. That said, we’d still expect a production model to split the difference with semi-autonomous capability. Thanks to a battery of lidar sensors, cameras and radar, it should offer human drivers the sort of assistance we’ve come to expect, if not take full control.

Other features touted for the upcoming Apple Car include the ability to “let drivers conduct other tasks — say, watch a movie or play a game — on a freeway and be alerted with ample time to switch over to manual control if they reach city streets or encounter inclement weather.” Color me skeptical when drivers can hardly stay off their phones while driving, but we’ll have to wait and see on that one. One more feasible feature could be a “cloud-based component for some artificial intelligence processing”, though the car itself will resemble something we’re used to today.

If and when it does launch, Apple supposedly plans to sell its car to customers for around $100,000. The company reportedly aims to lock in features by 2024, finalize a design mid-decade and finally ship units to the (affluent) public by 2026.

In the meantime, check out our latest EV-related video below: