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Apple abandons electric car plans: media

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Apple Inc. has reportedly terminated its ambitious electric car project, marking the end of a decade-long endeavor, as disclosed by US media outlets on Tuesday.

The tech giant, renowned for its innovation in consumer electronics, had allocated nearly 2,000 employees to its clandestine car development initiative, according to Bloomberg. However, the company encountered formidable challenges amidst a fiercely competitive electric vehicle (EV) landscape.

Initiated circa 2014 under the codename “Project Titan,” Apple’s primary objective was to engineer a fully autonomous vehicle, as per media sources. The decision to discontinue the car project was communicated internally on Tuesday, as reported by Bloomberg and The New York Times, citing anonymous insiders. Despite substantial investments, estimated in billions of dollars, Apple remained tight-lipped about its EV aspirations, with no official acknowledgment.

The demise of Apple’s electric car ambitions comes after years of speculation fueled by occasional leaks to the media. In 2022, The Information shed light on the project’s tribulations, documenting executive departures amid purported leadership apathy. Concurrently, a slowdown in demand has prompted several US automakers to reassess their EV strategies, echoing challenges faced by self-driving pioneers like Cruise and Waymo.

Notably, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., a key player in the EV sector, responded to news of Apple’s pivot with a post on X, featuring emojis of a salute and a cigarette. Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly reallocating personnel from the defunct car division to ventures in generative artificial intelligence (AI), per Bloomberg. Analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush remarked on the transition, expressing both disappointment at the shelving of the Apple Car and optimism for the intensified focus on AI initiatives within the company.

Generative AI, exemplified by innovations like ChatGPT from Microsoft-backed OpenAI, enables the creation of diverse outputs through natural language prompts. Major tech conglomerates such as Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon are aggressively pursuing AI advancements, with Apple poised to redirect its engineering prowess towards AI endeavors. Despite its historical reticence on the topic, Apple’s strategic shift underscores the escalating significance of AI technologies across diverse industry sectors.

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