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
17 weeks 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
17 weeks 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
17 weeks 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
17 weeks 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
17 weeks ago
Apple Car will never exist.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MidwestMacGuy Avatar
17 weeks ago
My guess is it will take more like five years.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
netflix sign up

Apple Discussed 'Punitive Measures' Against Netflix for Dropping In-App Purchases

Wednesday May 5, 2021 11:03 am PDT by
As the Epic Games v. Apple trial progresses into its third day, Apple's internal documents and communications with various companies are continuing to surface, giving us some insight into the dealings that Apple has had around the App Store. Back in December 2018, Netflix stopped offering in-app subscription options for new or resubscribing members and instead began requiring them to sign up ...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Begins Transition to Randomized Serial Numbers With Purple iPhone 12

Wednesday May 5, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
MacRumors previously reported about Apple's plan to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021, and this transition has now started with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries. With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial...
airtag 1

AirTag Anti-Stalking Measures 'Just Aren't Sufficient' Says Washington Post Report

Wednesday May 5, 2021 6:03 pm PDT by
The safeguards that Apple built into AirTags to prevent them from being used to track someone "just aren't sufficient," The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler said today in a report investigating how AirTags can be used for covert stalking. Fowler planted an AirTag on himself and teamed up with a colleague to be pretend stalked, and he came to the conclusion that the AirTags are a "new means...
iphone 13 pro max dummy notch

iPhone 13 Pro Max Dummy Model Depicts Smaller Notch

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 13 models are expected to feature a slimmed down notch, marking the first major change to the TrueDepth camera system since it was introduced in the 2017 iPhone X. We're still months away from the launch of the iPhone 13, but Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy managed to get an iPhone 13 Pro Max dummy model that represents what we can expect from the new 2021 device. Dummy...
iPad Pro July Shipping

12.9-Inch iPad Pro Now Delivers as Late as Mid-July

Wednesday May 5, 2021 7:10 am PDT by
While the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro is set to launch in the second half of May, orders placed today are estimated for delivery as late as mid-July on Apple's online store in the United States — some two months later. The new 11-inch iPad Pro is faring better so far, with some configurations available for delivery in the last week of May. The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro features a Liquid Retina XDR ...