Apple’s oft-rumored car project is reportedly still going ahead but with a market launch later than previously thought, and without full self-driving capability.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Apple will launch a car in 2026, or about a year later than the original target date.
One of the reasons for the delay, according to the sources, was a change to an original plan to develop the car without a steering and pedals. The car is now expected to ship with those controls, as self-driving capability will be limited to highway driving instead of working in all situations, the sources said.
According to Bloomberg, Apple plans to develop a car that could let the driver watch a video or browse the web during highway travel, and then provide ample time for the driver to take back control when necessary. Such capability would rank the car at Level 4 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability. The ultimate goal is Level 5, which would be a car that can match a human’s capabilities.
Bloomberg also reported that Apple hasn’t locked in a design yet, and that the company is still seeking a partner to source a platform.
Apple remains quiet on plans related to the car project, often referred to as Project Titan. The company has been filing multiple patents in recent years related to cars and driving, and hired multiple auto industry veterans, however.
Apple isn’t the only tech company looking to get into the car business. Alphabet is in the process of expanding its Waymo robotaxi service to more cities, and China’s Baidu has plans to have the biggest robotaxi service in operation as soon as 2023. Sony also teamed up with Honda in October to launch a joint venture that will bring to market advanced, software-led electric vehicles in 2026.