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Some on Apple’s failed car project reportedly had a cruel name for it

Apple reportedly canceled its electric car project earlier this week, ending around a decade of research and development on the ambitious project.

While we knew the tech giant had spent billions on its efforts, a New York Times report on Wednesday put a precise figure on it: $10 billion. It’s an astonishing amount of money for a project that will never see the light of day, and even more so when you consider that many of those working on it apparently suspected that the endeavor would come to nothing.

Internally, the effort was known as “Project Titan,” but workers who harbored doubts about its ability to succeed reportedly referred to it as “the Titanic disaster,” according to former members of Apple’s car project who spoke to the Times.

Apple never officially acknowledged that it was trying to build a car, but numerous leaks and job postings revealed much of what was going on over the years. The project appeared to be hindered by numerous personnel changes as well as conflicts at the top over what exactly the so-called “Apple Car” should be.

According to the Times, Steve Zadesky, who steered the project early on, was keen to create an electric vehicle that would take on Tesla, while former Apple design guru Jony Ive pushed for a self-driving car with more autonomous capabilities.

It seemed that Apple gradually moved away from any plan to build a driverless vehicle and eventually settled on creating an electric car with a number of driver-assist features.

The Project Titan team team grew to more than 2,000 people and included expert engineers who had been previously employed by the likes of NASA and Porsche.

The Times’ report paints a picture of a troubled project that lacked leadership and direction and eventually became overwhelmed by multiple challenges that included how exactly to manufacture the vehicle.

But there are some positives, as some of those involved in the car effort have said that Apple is intent on taking what it’s learned from autonomous and AI technologies to its current and future devices. But whether that’ll be worth $10 billion is too early to say.

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Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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