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Apple Dumps Electric Car Project After 10 Years

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
Apple electric car illustration model, in front of an Apple office complex
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Apple has recently announced a strategic decision to shift its focus from developing an independent electric vehicle project towards investing in generative artificial intelligence initiatives.

This decision is expected to enhance the company's capabilities in AI and pave the way for innovative products and services that can enrich people's lives.

Previously led by Apple's COO, Jeff Williams, and Kevin Lynch, the electric vehicle project involved a team of 2,000 individuals.

Under the leadership of John Giannandrea, Apple's AI team is now focusing on developing cutting-edge language model applications, including AI chatbots like ChatGPT.

The decision to transition resources from the electric car project to AI initiatives has resulted in some layoffs, with not all employees being able to retain their positions.

The "Special Projects Group" (SPG) at Apple, which was responsible for the electric car project, included hardware and automotive engineers.

Some of these employees may be able to apply for other positions within the company, while others may face job cuts.

Despite significant investments in autonomous vehicles and electric cars since 2014, Apple has shifted its focus away from the electric vehicle sector.

Current Prioritization of AI Technology

While Apple has recently launched the Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, marking a new product category for the company, it has not been as actively involved in the generative AI space as its competitors.

Despite reports of an internal AI chatbot project called Apple GPT, Apple has yet to release notable generative AI technology.

Noteworthy by its absence, Apple hasn't been a part of the generative AI rush over the past year since the advent of ChatGPT.

Despite major competitors such as Google, Microsoft, and Samsung developing diverse generative AI technologies, OpenAI has yet to release a notable generative AI technology during the rise of genAI.

In a surprising turn of events, Apple has decided to abandon its decade-long efforts to create an electric car, known internally as "Project Titan."

There will be layoffs, as per Bloomberg, and not all employees will have the same luck.

According to TechCrunch, some have reportedly been dismissed, but it remains unclear how many will be affected.

Apple had a team known as the "Special Projects Group" (SPG), which worked on developing the electric car.

Apart from software engineers, the team also included hardware and automotive engineers. However, it is uncertain whether these non-software engineers could apply for other positions within the company.

This shift towards AI technology reflects the changing landscape of the automotive and tech industries, taking precedence over electric vehicles.

Collaboration Opportunities in the Automotive Sector

While Apple may have put its electric vehicle plans on hold, it continues to explore partnerships with carmakers and invest in related technologies.

With its extensive experience in the automotive industry and a growing portfolio of patents, Apple remains a key player in developing future mobility solutions.

As Apple reevaluates its strategic priorities, other companies like Foxconn are seizing the opportunity to expand into the electric vehicle market.

Apple's focus on generative AI initiatives reflects the trend toward innovation and technological advancement in the automotive industry.