Apple Car Won't Be Ready for At Least Half a Decade

Rumors about Apple's work on an autonomous car have picked up in recent weeks, but the project is still in the early stages and it will be years before an Apple Car launches, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

Apple car wheel icon feature triad
Sources with knowledge of Apple's product plans told Bloomberg that it will take Apple "at least half a decade" to launch an autonomous electric vehicle.

Apple has a small team of hardware engineers that are working on drive systems, vehicle interiors, and external car designs with the goal of eventually shipping a vehicle to customers.

Apple's car plans have shifted multiple times over the years and just a couple of years ago, rumors indicated Apple had decided to forego development of a full car and was instead focusing on an autonomous driving system that could perhaps be provided to other car manufacturers.

As development has continued, Apple is once again focusing on the more ambitious goal of creating an entire vehicle. The car team is aiming to create a self-driving vehicle that would let a user input their destination and be driven there with "little or no other engagement."

The car is "nowhere near production stage" and it could be ready in five to seven years, though timelines could shift. Apple is also still pursuing a self-driving car system for a third-party partner, so the company could still opt to end development on its own car.

‌Apple Car‌ employees are working from home at the current time or spending limited time at the office, which is apparently slowing work on the vehicle project. Apple has a wide range of car experts working on the project, as outlined by Bloomberg.

This includes former Tesla VP of interior design Steve MacManus, self-driving safety expert and former Waymo employee Jaime Waydo, and former Tesla VP Michael Schwekutsch, who worked on motors and transmissions. Apple recently picked up Jonathan Sive, a BMW vehicle engineer who also worked at Tesla and Waymo, and Stuart Bowers, another former Tesla vice president.

apple car team exectives
Vehicle-related job listings suggest Apple's hiring is ramping up, with the Cupertino company seeking employees with expertise in wireless communication, LED lighting, high-voltage battery systems, and more.

A recent report from Reuters suggested Apple is aiming to launch a car in 2024, but that timeline sounds ambitious based on the new information from Bloomberg. Reuters said that Apple is developing a new battery design that will reduce cost and increase range, and has also been working with automotive supply companies.

Another report indicated Apple is designing a custom chip for the ‌Apple Car‌ that TSMC will manufacture, and Bloomberg confirms that Johny Srouji's team is developing a custom Arm-based chip with a focus on machine learning processing to run the self-driving car system.

Apple is likely to use a manufacturing partner to build the vehicles, but it continues to be unclear what company might secure a deal with Apple. 2016 rumors indicated Apple was in talks with Magna International, but the talks ended as Apple's plans at the time were unclear.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

iamgalt Avatar
27 months ago

My guess is it will take more like five years.
That's half a decade, which is what the article title states.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tzm41 Avatar
27 months ago

Tesla is already ahead.

By that time, Tesla owns the market with full self driving software. Not even including the crazy new ideas Tesla is cooking up in the labs for the next 5 years.
I kinda doubt that full self driving will be ready in the next five years... based on my observations in the advancements in CV and AI.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bob122989 Avatar
27 months ago
How to count to 100 like a journalist:

A, both, several, five, half a dozen, more than half a dozen, nearly 10, nearly a dozen, a dozen, more than a dozen, nearly two dozen, a score, nearly two dozen (again), dozens, scores, 50, more than 50, more than 75, nearly a hundred, 100.

(Credit [MEDIA=twitter]1255677366296285185[/MEDIA] )
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iamgalt Avatar
27 months ago
Did anyone actually think it was going to come out this year, or next? Personally, I think 5 years is still pretty optimistic.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jbusick7944 Avatar
27 months ago
Apple Car will never exist.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MidwestMacGuy Avatar
27 months ago
My guess is it will take more like five years.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
ipad air purple

Deals: M1 iPad Air Hits Record-Low Prices at TigerDirect, Starting at $313.99 (48% Off) [Updated]

Saturday February 4, 2023 10:05 am PST by
Online retailer TigerDirect has slashed pricing on the M1 iPad Air in several colors, offering the base 64GB configuration for just $313.99 in Purple and Pink. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with TigerDirect. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. That's a savings of 48% compared to Apple's normal $599.00...
mac studio pink

Apple May Not Launch Updated Mac Studio With M2 Ultra Chip Due to Similarity With Upcoming Mac Pro

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:06 am PST by
A new version of the Mac Studio with the "M2 Ultra" chip is unlikely to arrive in the near future, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that since the upcoming Apple silicon Mac Pro is "very similar in functionality to the Mac Studio," Apple may wait until the release of M3- or M4-series chips to update the machine, or...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Orange

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 Software Updates

Monday February 6, 2023 10:13 am PST by
Apple today released new tvOS 16.3.1 and HomePod 16.3.1 software updates, with the software coming two weeks after the tvOS 16.3 and HomePod 16.3 updates were released. According to Apple's release notes for HomePod software 16.3.1, the update includes general performance and stability improvements. Notes for tvOS 16.3.1 are unavailable as of yet, but are probably similar to the HomePod...
iPhone 15 Pro Blue Feature

iPhone 15 Pro 'Buttonless Design' Rumors: Everything We Know

Monday February 6, 2023 7:44 am PST by
The iPhone 15 Pro models will feature a "buttonless design" thanks to additional Taptic Engines, according to multiple corroborated reports, so what do we know about the change so far? Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was first to report that the volume and power buttons on this year's two high-end iPhone models will adopt a solid-state design, similar to the iPhone 7's home button, replacing a...
iphone ultra concept daehnert

'iPhone Ultra' Concept Envisions Apple's Rumored Future Top-Tier Smartphone

Tuesday February 7, 2023 5:38 am PST by
Apple has reportedly considered releasing a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside future Pro and Pro Max models, tentatively referred to as "iPhone Ultra," and one designer has taken it upon himself to envision what such a device could potentially look like. German industrial designer Jonas Daehnert came up with this impressive-looking concept (pictured) by marrying design elements of the...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...