Rumors have been swirling about Apple’s plans for an electric, self-driving car for years.
The latest report, which came in on Tuesday via a normally reliable source, suggests Apple has scaled back its autonomous car plan, with some elements still to be agreed.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said that in a “significant change” for the project, Apple has moved to a “less ambitious design that will include a steering wheel and pedals and will only support fully autonomous capabilities on highways.”
There was talk of Apple developing a fully autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel and pedals, but it seems that technological challenges and regulatory hurdles have caused Apple to take a different tack.
Citing people with knowledge of Apple’s car project, which reportedly involves 1,000 employees at four locations in three countries, Gurman said the company aims to sell the car for “less than $100,000,” compared to one previous number believed to have been around $120,000. As Gurman notes, this would put Apple’s car in the same price bracket as the entry-level Tesla Model S and Mercedes-Benz EQS.
Apple is now targeting 2026 as the arrival date for the expected vehicle, a year later than previous reports suggested. However, Gurman’s sources claim that Apple still hasn’t come up with a design for the car, although that should be settled sometime next year. The features should be agreed upon in the following year, according to the Bloomberg report, with extensive testing taking place in 2025.
But Apple also needs a manufacturer to help it make the car. Reports over the past few years suggest the tech giant has been in talks with a number of automakers, but it’s believed the company is still looking for a partner.
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