Apple delays Apple Car until at least 2026 and drops self-driving ambitions

Apple Car Concept
(Image credit: Vanarama)

Apple is seemingly accepting temporary defeat and scaling back some of its ambition with the long-rumored Apple Car project.

As reported by Bloomberg, the company has again delayed the launch of the Apple Car, Apple's long-rumored electric vehicle. According to people who know the situation, Apple is now looking at a launch date of 2026 or later. Considering its track record so far, my bet is on later.

In addition to delaying the electric vehicle launch even further, the company has also made a significant concession regarding the technology it had set out with on the car. People close to the project have said, "the company is now planning a less-ambitious design that will include a steering wheel and pedals and only support full autonomous capabilities on highways."

This is a significant change from Apple's previous ambition to build a vehicle capable of Level 5 self-driving, the highest level of technology that would handle all driving scenarios. The company initially thought that, if they could reach such a level, they could remove the need for a wheel and pedals and offer an entirely new kind of transportation vehicle.

Now, the company has rolled back that ambition due to the technology currently available not being able to handle such a task.

Apple Car will still do a lot of other things

While the Apple Car might not do full self-driving in all scenarios, there are still many other things the company has planned for the vehicle. For example, the report says that users may be able to "watch a movie or play a game" on a highway with the car taking over the driving in that particular scenario.

Regarding the price, Apple has also lowered its target cost of the car from around $120,000 to under $100,000. This would put the Apple Car in the same area as many other premium electric cars. However, it's currently unclear if Apple's electric vehicle will feature multiple trims like other traditional car models.

We've all been waiting for a long time for the Apple Car, so with today's news, it sounds like we all have at least four more years to go. We might as well pick up that Tesla or Rivian to hold ourselves over!

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.