RIP Project Titan: 2014-2016.
Apple's made a lot of headlines this year, some positive and some negative. The launch of the new iPhone, for instance, was met with an almost instantaneous backlash over the lack of a headphone port, and there was a decidedly mixed reaction to the reports implying that the tech company was looking at buying McLaren. As a result, we'll let you make your mind up about the Bloomberg-sourced indication that Apple's car project isn't going along swimmingly at this moment in time. (That's a polite way of saying it's done for.)
According to Bloomberg, Apple's "Project Titan" program, which is understood to be behind the development of the automotive initiative, has been drastically scaled back, with "hundreds of members of the car team" either leaving the company or being reassigned to additional roles within the corporation. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the car production project has been scrapped indefinitely. According to Bloomberg's sources there's still the possibility to pick up where Project Titan left off at some point in the future. Despite the hedge it seems to us, and everyone else watching the situation, that the chances of seeing Apple unveil a physical, production-ready car in the near future are now increasingly unlikely.
Furthermore, Bloomberg's sources also revealed it isn't smooth sailing for the autonomous technology side of the venture either. Though there are obvious benefits to developing a self-driving system over an entire car from scratch, the project still needs to prove its feasibility, with an alleged deadline of "late next year " being given for the self-driving initiative to prove its worth before Apple decides on a future course of action. So, whilst the autonomous side of Project Titan remit looks like it's in far better health than the production car portion, these alleged leaked details do indicate a noticeable swing in the Titan team's fortune is needed if either aspect of the project is to be successful.
Anyone watching the saga of the Apple car unfold knew that the company was a bit ambitious in its aspirations. Designing and building a car from the ground up isn't as simple as building a smartphone, despite what former execs at the company think. This is especially true when the goal is to create a self-driving electric car, something that currently doesn't exist on the market. While it's fun to revel in Apple's failure we do think the company has a lot to offer the automotive industry and hope that it continues working on the software side of things. Just please, please don't buy McLaren.