Apple’s Project Titan autonomous car may not be dead after all

For a while, everyone wanted to be in the autonomous vehicle market as it seemed the technology would revolutionize the industry. While major automakers certainly jumped into the autonomous and EV realm, companies like Tesla and others were new entrants to the automotive world. One of the companies that was rumored early on to be getting into the autonomous vehicle market was Apple, the same company behind the iPhone.

However, after those rumors swirled for a couple of years, Apple’s project, dubbed Project Titan, was reportedly discontinued, and some of the team were let go. A new report claims that Apple is moving forward with self-driving cars, and Project Titan is back on track. Apple is reportedly targeting 2024 to produce a passenger vehicle using Apple’s breakthrough battery technology.

It was only last year that Apple laid off 190 people from the Project Titan team. Since those layoffs, sources cited by Reuters claim that Apple has progressed enough that it intends to build a vehicle for consumers. The goal is to make a personal vehicle for the mass market, which is markedly different from other companies such as Waymo who aim to build cars for ride-hailing services.

There are several mysteries surrounding Project Titan at this point. One is that it’s unclear who would assemble the Apple car. However, sources claim that the company is expected to rely on a manufacturing partner to build vehicles. One of the sources also said that there is a chance Apple may reduce the scope of its efforts and produce an autonomous driving system to be integrated into other manufacturer’s cars instead of a vehicle of its own.

Some sources have said that while Apple is aiming for 2024, delays due to the pandemic could push production into 2025 or later. Apple hasn’t designed every element of the system itself, with sources saying that it has used outside partners for lidar sensors.