The company has just left a sector of activity in which, officially, its engineers had never really set foot

10 billion dollars: this is the crazy sum that Apple would have spent trying to develop its own connected, autonomous and electric car. This sum is still equivalent to more than 9.22 billion dollars, according to the exchange rate in force at the time of writing these lines. A colossal budget, equivalent to nearly 10% of the Apple firm’s quarterly income. This generated nearly 120 billion dollars during the fourth quarter of 2024, the latter having notably benefited greatly from the Christmas holidays and the promotional period surrounding Black Friday.

The Titan project , the name apparently given internally to the Apple Car, would have lasted almost 10 years. Its origins date back to 2014, but as early as 2016 rumors in the corridors suggested that the program was on hiatus. An interruption will be mentioned again last year in the specialized press, while originally estimates suggested that a first vehicle model could see the light of day in 2019. Ultimately, this will not be the case. Instead, the manufacturer has even decided to transfer numerous employees from its “autonomous driving” department to its teams responsible for designing apps powered by artificial intelligence.



Hints of the fall from the start!

According to a new article signed by no less than the very famous The New York Times , the Apple Car was from its inception nicknamed “Titanic project” by certain employees in charge of its development. The latter then already thought that the driverless solution imagined by Cupertino would never see the light of day, which is clearly not without echoing other testimonies concerning the online gaming service Apple Arcade. This one would also be on the verge of closing its doors, according to feedback shared by developers – but it is impossible to be certain at the moment.

Still according to the same American source, it is also rumored that Apple would like to replace the steering wheel with… Siri. Yes, you read correctly: we are talking here about its proprietary voice assistant, the results of which are known to be generally less efficient than those of the Google Assistant. As a reminder, its publisher, namely Alphabet, already offers its own autonomous vehicles. Waymo, its subsidiary, allows everyone to get from point A to point B with a service reminiscent of Uber in every way, except that no driver is there to welcome you within the passenger compartment.

A bad for a good ?

Despite everything, these ten billion dollars apparently gone up in smoke will have in a certain way borne fruit. And for good reason: since 2014, Apple has filed hundreds of patents allowing it to protect the intellectual property of the different concepts that could have seen the light of day within its autonomous car. We know, for example, that the Cupertino giant has worked on a prototype of a retractable steering wheel and pedals. Diagrams also suggested that it could have been possible to drive the vehicle with a mixed reality headset in front of your eyes, which however remains strictly not recommended with a Vision Pro. In any case, this is what the conditions of use of the device, indicated by its manufacturer, suggest.

According to other patents, the Apple Car could also have benefited from an innovative sound system and protection against accidents with airbags installed under the seats .

Finally, let us add that Apple today already offers an operating system for third-party brands: CarPlay . BMW uses it in particular in some of its models. And the iPhone can be used as a car key, thanks to a native feature of its operating system.