Apple Spent More Than $10 Billion on Apple Car Before Canceling Project

Apple spent more than $10 billion working on the Apple Car over the last decade, according to a report from The New York Times that details the issues the project faced during development. Apple first launched the project in 2014 and let it flounder for more than a decade before calling it off earlier this week.


Money was spent on research and development, along with the thousands of Apple engineers and car experts that worked on the project. Some employees within Apple are said to have suspected that the endeavor was likely to fail from the beginning, and they referred to the car as "the Titanic disaster" instead of its "Project Titan" codename.

Apple CEO Tim Cook signed off on the project, but members of the car team knew that it was going to be close to impossible. An electric vehicle with self-driving capabilities would need to cost at least $100,000, and it would have razor thin margins and stiff competition.

While Apple reportedly held discussions with Elon Musk about a possible purchase of Tesla, the company decided that building its own car made more sense than attempting to integrate Tesla into Apple. Way back in 2014, Musk said that he had "conversations" with Apple, but he said at the time that an acquisition seemed "very unlikely."

Apple was never able to find the right leader for the Apple Car project. As we detailed in a look back at the Apple Car's history earlier today, the project had four different leads and was scaled up and scaled back several times over the course of the last 10 years. According to The New York Times, the ultimate reason that it failed was because Apple was simply unable to develop the software and algorithms for a car with autonomous driving.

The more than 2,000 employees that worked on the car project are being redistributed, some will join other teams at Apple to work on AI and other technologies, and some will be laid off. Apple will take what it learned from the car project and apply it to other devices like AI-powered AirPods with cameras, robot assistants, and augmented reality.

More on the downfall of the Apple Car and some of the technologies that Apple came up with can be found in the full The New York Times report.

Top Rated Comments

Antoniosmalakia Avatar
8 weeks ago

Their yearly profit is about $100 Billion, so keep that in mind for comparison.
I knew my overpriced SSD upgrade was paying for something (nothing).
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jooish Avatar
8 weeks ago
Other than paychecks, I'd like to see what $10b and a decade of work amounted to.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eso Avatar
8 weeks ago
Their yearly profit is about $100 Billion, so keep that in mind for comparison.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar74 Avatar
8 weeks ago
iPhone sales flat. Car cancelled. AVP better knock it out of th--

Never mind.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
8 weeks ago
I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Given the types of patents that have been a result of the initiative it seems like Project Titan at some point started functioning as a Basic R&D lab. Think Bell Labs or Palo Alto Research center.

Apple has been patenting some really cool stuff across a whole range of areas that while were dreamt up in the context of a car, can definitely apply to a whole host of different areas.

https://www.patentlyapple.com/autonomous-vehicle-technology/

Smart fabrics being just one area that comes to mind…
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sevoneone Avatar
8 weeks ago
Tim said: "Make me a car, or make me a new device with a starting price that is as much as a cheap used car."

This is where we are now.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Provenance Emulator

PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iPad Air 12

12.9-Inch iPad Air Now Rumored to Feature Mini-LED Display

Thursday April 18, 2024 7:37 am PDT by
The rumored 12.9-inch iPad Air that is expected to be announced in May will be equipped with a mini-LED display like the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro, according to Ross Young, CEO of research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants. The existing 10.9-inch iPad Air is equipped with a standard LCD panel, and the move to mini-LED technology for the 12.9-inch model would provide increased brightness for...