Apple cancels E car project, makes generative AI major focus

For nearly a decade, Apple had been working on building an electric car that was touted to give stiff competition to Elon Musk’s Tesla. Work on the project began back in 2014, and a lot has been happening in all these years. However, in a surprising move, the Cupertino-based tech giant has decided to pull the plug on the project. Nearly 2,000 people were working on the project, a Bloomberg report stated and many of them will be transferred to Apple’s AI division, where they will focus on generative AI projects.

Apple cancels electric car project

A Bloomberg report revealed that Apple has decided to cancel its decade-long effort to build an electric car, marking the end of one of the most ambitious projects in the company’s history. The decision was shared internally on Tuesday, leaving nearly 2,000 employees working on the project surprised, according to sources familiar with the matter. The project had employees from renowned car manufacturers, including Aston Martin, Lamborghini, BMW, and Porsche.

Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president overseeing the project, informed the team, known as the Special Projects Group (SPG), that the project would be winding down. Meanwhile, Lynch will report to John Giannandrea, shifting from his previous reporting structure under Jeff Williams.

The report also revealed that many employees from the car team will be transferred to Apple’s artificial intelligence division under executive John Giannandrea. Their focus will shift to generative AI projects, aligning with Apple’s growing emphasis on artificial intelligence.

Apple initiated its car project, codenamed project Titan, around 2014, envisioning a fully autonomous electric vehicle with advanced features such as a limousine-like interior and voice-guided navigation.

However, Project Titan faced numerous challenges from the beginning, with changes in leadership and strategy. Despite road-testing its autonomous technology since 2017, Apple was still years away from producing a car. The company grappled with the complexities of self-driving technology and explored various car designs.

Tim Cook on Apple’s generative AI projects

A couple of months back, Apple CEO Tim Cook had said during an investors’ call that Apple was working on generative AI and the company wants to be responsible with it.

The Apple boss said, as per a 9 to 5 mac report, that there was “work going on” when it comes to generative AI.

“In terms of generative AI, obviously, we have work going on. I’m not going to get into details about what it is, because as you know, we really don’t do that. But you can bet that we’re investing. We’re investing quite a bit. We’re going to do it responsibly, and it will. You will see product advancements over time where those technologies are at the heart of them,” he was quoted by the publication.

Apple has also been hiring for generative AI roles and has posted various job listings in the field in the last couple of months. Reports had also surfaced that the company plans on spending over $1 billion every year to make generative AI products and features.

Published By:

Divyanshi Sharma

Published On:

Feb 28, 2024

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