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Similar to the promise of nuclear fusion, it seems that the much-anticipated Apple Car remains a not-too-distant eventuality, judging by the stream of quasi-new updates that regularly hit the financial media.
Bloomberg is now reporting that the Apple Car might not launch until 2026. Bear in mind that the EV was previously expected to debut by 2025.
Initially, Apple Car – or Titan, as the project is known internally at Apple – was envisioned as a fully-autonomous electric vehicle without a steering wheel or pedals. However, Apple seems to have curtailed its autonomy-related ambitions over the past few months, as per Bloomberg’s reporting. Reportedly, the EV will now come equipped with a steering wheel and other paraphernalia of human-led driving, with autonomous driving capability reserved for the highways. This means that the Apple Car will not be much different from a number of other EVs that boast of L2 autonomy at present. The EV might even be dumber than a typical Tesla.
The Apple Car project has been marred by years of delays and high-profile departures of team members. The project’s current lead, Kevin Lynch, has sought to bring some much-needed stability to Titan’s lofty ambitions, with a scaling-down of the electric vehicle’s autonomy commitments a major part of grounding the project in terms of its technological limitations.
In other news, the Apple Car will feature a powerful onboard computer bearing an internal codename Denali. Bloomberg reports that the Denali features a processor whose performance is equal to about four of Apple’s highest-end Mac chips combined. The processor is production-ready, but Apple might dampen its specs ahead of the EV’s launch to curtail costs.
While Tesla is relying solely on its vision-based Autopilot system, the Apple Car is expected to seek cues from a host of sensors for navigation, including LiDAR, radar, and cameras.
The EV will also feature cloud-based AI processing capability, with the iPhone manufacturer paying Amazon Web Services $125 million per year for this hosting service.
Initially, Apple had intended to retail its EV at over $120,000. However, now the iPhone manufacturer intends to sell the Apple Car at a price point that lies below $100,000. Apple intends to finalize the car’s design by 2023 and conduct extensive testing in 2025.