Rumors have been swirling around for years regarding Apple’s plans for an electric, self-driving car.
The latest report, which arrived on Tuesday via a usually reliable source, suggests Apple has scaled back its plan for an autonomous car, with some elements yet to be agreed upon.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said that in a “significant shift” for the project, Apple has switched to a “less-ambitious design that will include a steering wheel and pedals and only support full autonomous capabilities on highways.”
There had been talk of Apple creating a fully autonomous vehicle sans steering wheel and pedals, but it appears that technological challenges and regulatory hurdles have prompted Apple to take another course.
Citing people with knowledge of Apple’s car project, which reportedly involves 1,000 employees split across four locations in three countries, Gurman said the company is aiming to sell the car for “less than $100,000,” down from an earlier figure believed to be around $120,000. As Gurman notes, this would put Apple’s car in the same price range as the entry-level version of the Tesla Model S, as well as the EQS from Mercedes-Benz.
As for an arrival date for the expected vehicle, Apple is now said to be targeting 2026, a year later than earlier reports suggested. However, Gurman’s sources claim that Apple still hasn’t arrived at a design for the car, though this should be settled some time next year. Features should be agreed upon the following year, the Bloomberg report said, with extensive testing taking place in 2025.
But Apple also needs a manufacturer to help it make the car. Reports in recent years suggested the tech giant has had talks with a number of automakers, but it’s believed that the company is still seeking a partner.
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