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Apple scraps plans for electric cars

Apple has cancelled its plans to build an electric car after reports that it was struggling to create a self-driving vehicle.

The company told the 2,000 staff working on the project on Tuesday that it is axing the ambitious project, according to Bloomberg.

It is reportedly planning to move many of those employed to work on artificial intelligence projects, a priority for the electronics giant. It is understood that there will also be redundancies.

Apple had been working on the car – codenamed Project Titan – since 2014. It aimed to deliver breakthrough battery technology that would radically cut their cost, according to insiders, and create car software that would mean the car would genuinely drive itself.

In January, it was revealed that Apple was delaying the release of the car from 2026 to 2028 and had cut the ambitions for its self-driving capabilities, so that it would offer a capability similar to Tesla’s Autopilot technology.

This would mean the car would perform some manoeuvres on its own, such as braking, lane changing, parking or driving on a motorway, but with the driver remaining in control.

The cancellation of the project comes amid escalating competition between electric carmakers, with China’s BYD overtaking Elon Musk’s Tesla as the world’s best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer.

The Chinese firm’s rise – fuelled by low prices – has alarmed Western carmakers, with the boss of Renault, Luca de Meo, urging Europe and Britain to jointly pursue an industrial policy to encourage “European champions”.

Analysts had queried the logic of Apple entering the car industry. “It makes no sense whatsoever for Apple to sell a car,” technology analyst Richard Windsor said last year. “Apple makes 40-50pc gross margins on the products it sells, and it will not make that on seats and steering wheels.”

Apple’s decision to axe the project takes place as investors show signs of nervousness about the company’s growth potential. Its shares are down over 4pc during the past month with the company facing battles on multiple fronts.

Its sales in China plunged 13pc in the final quarter of 2023, with its share of phones priced above $600 (£470) falling from 75pc to 71pc. Huawei, in particular, is eating into Apple’s sales in the country, after launching its Mate 60 Pro phone, which has proved a hit. 

Apple has also suffered the distraction of court battles over its smart watches, while some customers of its high-cost Vision Pro headsets, its first major product launch since the Apple Watch in 2015, have returned them complaining that the gadgets are making them feel sick. Apple has issued advice on how to minimise motion sickness.

Apple was approached for comment.

This article was originally published by a www.telegraph.co.uk . Read the Original article here. .

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