Apple's Electric Car Ambition Ends Project Titan Canceled

Apple has recently announced the cancellation of its long-standing autonomous electric car project, known internally as “Project Titan.” This decision marks the end of a secretive and ambitious effort that began in 2014 and at one point involved around 5,000 workers.

The project’s termination is a significant shift for Apple, which had been exploring the automotive sector as a potential new revenue stream to supplement its hardware sales and services business.

The cancellation was communicated to the Project Titan team in a brief meeting led by Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, and the vice president in charge of Titan, Kevin Lynch. The meeting, which lasted about 12 minutes, did not allow for questions.

This move is expected to result in the layoff of hundreds of employees, although some will be reassigned to Apple’s generative AI projects. Employees not reassigned will have 90 days to find new roles within the company.

Project Titan experienced several changes in direction over the years, oscillating between the development of an all-electric vehicle to compete with Tesla and a fully autonomous vehicle akin to Waymo’s creations. The project had high-profile automotive executives involved, including former Tesla executive Doug Field and executives from Lamborghini and Ford.

In 2021, Apple hired Ulrich Kranz, a former BMW executive, to join the project.

The decision to discontinue Project Titan comes amid a broader reevaluation of investments in electric vehicles by major automakers and increased scrutiny of autonomous vehicle projects. Apple’s entry into the automotive industry was seen as a potential boost to its financial performance, but the project faced challenges, including shifting priorities and leadership changes.

The cancellation of Project Titan is a notable development in Apple’s history, as it represents a rare instance of the tech giant stepping back from a major initiative. The move also reflects the challenges and complexities of entering the automotive industry, particularly in the areas of electric and autonomous vehicles.

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