Apple is reportedly still planning to launch standalone Apple Car, but not until 2026 and, initially, without a fully autonomous driving mode.
A Bloomberg report on Tuesday says Apple is ‘scaling back’ its plans for the vehicle and is pushing the planned launch back a year from 2025 to 2026. The report also says the car is likely to start at under $100,000 (around £83,000), which is an interesting tidbit we haven’t heard before.
According to the report, Apple wanted to completely re-envision the car without a steering wheel and pedals, meaning it would rely entirely on self-driving capabilities. Today’s report from well-connected Apple reporter Mark Gurman says Apple’s top brass has now faced up to the likelihood the tech isn’t quite there yet.
While the car will have some advanced driver assist features that will enable some levels of autonomy on highways, according to the report, it sounds like Apple is settling for a scaled back vision.
“The car project, dubbed Titan inside the company, has been in limbo for the past several months as Apple executives grappled with the reality that its vision for a fully autonomous vehicle — without a steering wheel or pedals — isn’t feasible with current technology.”Bloomberg
According to the report, the highway autonomy will be sufficient enough to allow ‘drivers’ to play games and watch videos within the infotainment system, which may be reminiscent of the vision Apple unveiled for the future of CarPlay at WWDC this year (pictured above).
The car may also ask human drivers to take back control of the wheel when they get off the highway, or in rough weather conditions. Gurman writes that US drivers would get first dibs on the autonomous features.
However, the absence of Full Level 5 autonomy would make the Apple Car stand out a little less from the crowd, with plenty of manufacturers now offering some level of autonomy.