Not-so-secret Apple Car project halted — 2,000 employees affected as teams transfer to generative AI push

Apple Car concept
(Image credit: Vanarama)

Have you been waiting patiently for the Apple Car? Well, the not-so-secret project has been canned, according to “people with knowledge of the matter.” 

According to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, the project was canceled on Tuesday, surprising the 2,000 employees working on the electric vehicle. Many of those employees will be moved to Apple’s AI division as we await the company’s first move in the AI race.

Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and an Apple vice president, Kevin Lynch, informed the employees of the project's cancelation. 

Gurman states, “The two executives told staffers that the project will begin winding down and that many employees on the Car team — known as the Special Projects Group, or SPG — will be shifted to the artificial intelligence division under executive John Giannandrea. Those employees will focus on generative AI projects, an increasingly key priority for the company.”

Bloomberg’s report also states that “there will be layoffs, but it’s unclear how many,” as the hundreds of hardware engineers and vehicle designers working on the Apple Car look for new roles.

Project Titan cancelled 

Project Titan (the internal name for Apple Car) has been in the works since around 2014, yet the car’s release, even by 2024, was still years away. 

The cancellation of the Apple Car project comes at a time when shareholder pressure on Apple’s AI involvement seems to be ramping up. Earlier on Tuesday, there were reports that two of Apple’s biggest shareholders were pushing for Apple to announce its AI plans publicly after a proposal from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Whether or not the Apple Car news is linked to these shareholder pressures is unknown. However, considering the shifting of focus, it looks like Apple is all in on AI. With iOS 18 expected to be revealed at WWDC in June, we don’t have long to wait to see what Apple is working on. But will it be as cool as an automated car? Who knows.

Concept image created by Vanarama

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit. 

  • naddy69
    Is anyone actually surprised by this? An Apple Car makes as much sense as an Apple refrigerator.

    Let's face it. It was just a dumb idea.