Apple Scaling Down Their Car Project

Posted: Oct 31 2016, 1:55pm CDT | by , in Apple


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Apple Scaling Down Their Car Project
photo: pocket-lint

There have been a lot of rumors about the Apple Car. Now we might have to wait even longer to see an automobile from the tech giant.

Rumors about Apple’s foray into the automotive industry have been flying since several mysterious vans rigged with cameras were spotted driving around Northern California in February 2015.

Apple is reportedly now focusing solely on building software for self-driving vehicles, as opposed to also working on a manufacturing a car itself. This frees Apple up to either partner with an existing car manufacturer or restart work on its own vehicles in the future.

Apple either laid off of transferred to other Apple sectors hundreds of the estimated 1,000 employees working on Apple’s car project, an undertaking often referred to as “Project Titan.” The remaining workers purportedly must prove the achievability of the project by late 2017 when Apple will decide what the next step in the venture will be (and, possibly, whether it will continue working on automotive technology at all).

Some have speculated that Apple probably stepped back from Project Titan, because of the difficulty of the manufacturing and the smaller profit margins of the auto industry.

Mass-producing vehicles is extremely intensive. Apple is, of course, not experienced in vehicle production and would have needed to invest huge sums of money into developing their manufacturing process. An Apple car may not have been profitable enough to make such an investment worthwhile.

Automobile manufacturers work with much smaller profit margins than Apple is used to, another factor that may have led the tech giant from to slow down their car making plans. A successful automaker may have an operating profit margin of 10%, a small slice of the margins on an iPhone.

Apple was an innovator in the consumer electronics field, something that contributed significantly to the company’s success. In the auto industry, however, there are of course already many very successful, established manufacturers meaning Apple would need to do a lot more to set itself apart.

Even in the world of autonomous vehicles, competition is already fierce. Technology companies like Google and Uber have been working on self-driving cars and have partnered with several established automakers. Many traditional car companies, such as Ford, BMW and Toyota are also working on their own autonomous vehicles. Many of these companies are aiming to have the technology ready by around 2020.

Companies such as Apple face innumerable challenges when trying to break into the auto industry and implement new technology for vehicles. How these companies, as well as established automakers, choose to confront these challenges will change the way we travel significantly in the not-so-distant future.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/56" rel="author">Scott Huntington</a>
Scott Huntington is a writer and journalist from Harrisburg PA who covered movies, tech, cars, and more. Check out his blog Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.




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