Story at a glance

  • Apple, Inc. is jumping into the automated car game with Project Titan.
  • The car will reportedly be equipped with advanced battery technology that stands to improve mileage and reduce cost.

Following several years of industry speculation and half-baked plans, Apple will be advancing its development of proprietary self-driving car technology, with its eye on rolling out a passenger vehicle by 2024.

Reuters reports that the tech behemoth’s car plans are referred to as Project Titan, and have been in the works since 2014 but struggled to get off the ground. 

Doug Field, a former Tesla employee and current Apple vice president, is reportedly overseeing Project Titan’s development, having returned to it in 2018 and laying off 190 employees on the team in 2019.

While Apple declined to comment on Project Titan, the report says that Apple’s goal is to build a automated vehicle for its customer base, focusing on the concept of a new battery design that could “radically” reduce the cost of car batteries and increase the vehicle's mileage, one insider told reporters. 

Self-driving cars have bloomed in the automotive industry over the past few years, largely spearheaded by Tesla. CEO Elon Musk told reporters back in July that his company is “very close” to releasing a car to market, with goals of launching its “Full Self-Driving” software by the end of this year.

Tesla has recently offered its customers the chance to give the self-driving software a literal test drive, despite industry criticism that general drivers are not ready for the technology.

Other automated car companies, such as Waymo and Cruise, plan on rolling out more structured pilot programs to test their self-driving vehicles.

While self-driving cars are in such infancy that regulations surrounding them are light, spokespeople from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in October that it “will not hesitate to take action to protect public [sic] against unreasonable risks to safety,” per The Washington Post.

Published on Dec 22, 2020