This was the development of Apple's electric car that cost 10 billion dollars and has been canceled

2014-2024. The project had been going on for a decade. Titan of Manzana before this week the company informed its employees of its cancellation. Titan is the name that designated the development of the Apple Carinformal nickname, for which the company had more than 2,000 workers hired and invested the amount of 10,000 million dollars. All that workforce will be refocused on generative artificial intelligence and other areas of the company.

During these ten years, development has been carried out in the utmost confidentiality, as is usual in the company. Once closed, The New York Times has been able to speak with half a dozen company employees involved in the Titan project and partially reconstruct the internal history of this futile development for which they had an alternative nickname: the titanic disaster.

Titan was reset and restarted from scratch on several occasions. It started as an electric vehicle intended to compete with Teslas by Elon Musk and later became a autonomous car that wanted to rival the Waymo of Google. He had four leadership positions over the years, several rounds of layoffs and by the time Apple decided to cancel him had returned to the original concept of an electric car with driving assistance functions. Ultimately, it was the difficulty in developing the software and algorithms necessary for autonomous driving functions one of the main aspects that ruined the project.

A $100,000 car with little profit margin

When Apple started Titan in 2014, there was a rush in Silicon Valley to pursue autonomous driving thinking it would be commonplace within a few years and Apple did not want to be left behind. Another circumstance was added. The company had finalized the Apple Watch and Tim Cook approved the project for prevent a rout of engineerswho wanted to work on something new, towards Tesla.

Despite the confidence of the company's top executive, the Titan project team knew that an Apple Car would have a price of at least 100,000 dollars and a very small profit margin compared to what Apple makes with iPhones and other devices. And it would also reach a market already dominated by Tesla. In fact, Apple considered buying Elon Musk's company and had conversations with him, but decided that it would be better to develop his own vehicle than integrate Tesla into his structure.

Titan also didn't maintain a clear vision of what the Apple Car should be. Steve Zadeskythe first leader of the project, wanted an electric vehicle with which to compete with Tesla while Jony Ive, Apple's chief designer and one of its leading figures at the time, was looking for an autonomous car. Without really knowing where it was going, Apple hired more than 2,000 employees, including engineers from the POT and of porsche.

Driving without a steering wheel

Apple developed a series of technologies for its vehicle that included a front moon that showed indications of the directions to follow and a sliding roof Made with a special polymer to reduce the sun's heat.

But the most striking idea came from Ive. His team designed a series of Apple Car concepts reminiscent of the Fiat 600 Multiplaa minivan manufactured by the Italian brand in the 50s and 60s. It had no steering wheel and instead was driven using Apple's virtual assistant, Siri.. Ive even gave Cook a demonstration in which both of them, in the seats of a simulated cockpit, pretended to be driving the vehicle. while an actor, from outside, responded verbally to their requests as if he were Siri.

In 2016Zadesky left Apple and was replaced by Bob Mansfieldwho added numerous start-ups to the Titan team and under whose direction the focus was changed to achieving an autonomous driving vehicle. Later he put a former Tesla executive in charge of Titan, Doug Field. He laid off several hundred employees while maintaining the approach of his predecessor and in 2021 was replaced by Kevin Lynchone of the creators of the Apple Watch.

Lynch returned to the original vision of an electric car to compete with Tesla, but the New York Times does not have more details about this last stage before Apple decided to close the project and dedicate its resources to generative AI, as it explained to its employees this Tuesday.