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October 24 2021 7:16 AM ˚

Apple Car: Where does the autonomous car project stand?

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Apple confirmed its plans to launch its smart car between 2025–2027. (Photo: Apple Newsroom)
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AMMAN — The American tech company, Apple, is a pioneer of technology and one of the most prominent names in mobile manufacturing. Still, their ambitious ride towards becoming an automaker is facing some glitches along the way.اضافة اعلان

Apple has been discreetly working on their car project since 2014 under the code name "Project Titan,” and CEO Tim Cook confirmed the rumors in 2017. Cook stated that Apple had been working on an automobile-related project. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said: "we're focusing on autonomous systems, including self-driving cars."


Apple CEO Tim Cook. (Photo: Apple Newsroom)

"It's probably one of the most difficult AI projects to work on, so autonomy is a very exciting thing for us," he added.

Apple hired former engineers from the German "Mercedes-Benz” who specialize in mass production of vehicles, steering, dynamics, software, and project management to recruit talent. Apple also commissioned several other engineers to design the new car, which is called the “Apple Car.”

Apple is expected to launch its smart car between 2025–2027.

In December 2020, Reuters reported that the “Apple car” will utilize "new battery technology" known as "Monocell” which aims to reduce cost and increase the car's range before recharging is needed.

It remains unclear who will assemble the vehicle, but analysts expect the company to rely on a manufacturing partner to build the cars.

The initial plan was for Apple to build a car with the same supplier of their current devices, Taiwan Based Foxconn, a major Apple Inc. supplier. However, Foxconn has its automaking aspirations and is already in talks with the Chinese electric car start-up Byton and automaker Geely.

Apple has also decided to tie up with a legacy automaker to avoid any teething problems that come with a fresh dive into automaking, learning a lesson from its Valley neighbor Tesla.

Most recently, in the Apple car saga is its venture with Toyota. According to a media report published by motor1.com, an automotive news website, Apple executives met in Japan with Toyota executives regarding the production of the long-rumored Apple Car.

January of 2021, before, these reports Apple had a futile attempt to forge a partnership with the Korean Hyundai. After a short-lived PR storm announcing of talks, followed by a quick denial of any concrete agreement, many concluded that Apple had jumped the gun and spoke too soon. A month later a statement came out to rest the story to bed. Here’s how it went: The Korean company Hyundai confirmed that it was in talks with Apple about building self-driving electric cars, but it eventually backed down after the comments made headlines.

In February, rumors of Apple preparing to invest $3.6 billion in Kia Motors to help build electric cars in 2024 came up, but it has not yet been confirmed.

Apple’s car project is going through some internal hardships as of late, with the surprise departure of Doug Field, who was previously the head of the Apple electric car project, to join the American automaker, Ford. Field took the position of head of Ford’s advanced technology and integrated systems sector. As a result, Apple appointed Kevin Lynch, one of its top software executives for Apple Watches, to oversee its new self-driving car project to replace former Doug Field.

Lynch is a senior Adobe veteran who joined Apple in 2013. Lynch’s role was to manage the company's suite of smartwatch software and improve the health sector of the watch. In addition, Lynch has been involved in the self-driving car team since the beginning of this year. He’s worked on software for the self-driving system and is now overseeing the entire team, including hardware engineering and self-driving car sensors.

These turbulent steps represent one of many difficulties Apple has faced since its plan to develop a self-driving car in 2014. So now we wait to see when an actual “iCar” will be launched.

Read more in Drive
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