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Apple's pivot: From electric vehicles to AI focus


Apple's pivot: From electric vehicles to AI focus

Apple is widely recognized for its smartphones, laptops, and a variety of technological gadgets. Despite this established image, the company embarked on an ambitious journey to venture into the automotive sector with plans to develop an electric vehicle (EV).


This project was not just a fleeting idea but a significant commitment that spanned over a decade and involved a hefty investment of billions of dollars. Despite the considerable resources and time devoted to this project, it now appears that Apple's foray into electric vehicles might not come to fruition.


The EV, which was nearing its final stages of development, is unlikely to be released to the public. This unexpected turn of events raises questions about what factors influenced Apple's decision to pull back from a project that seemed almost ready to launch.



The news of Apple's withdrawal from its electric vehicle project comes from various media outlets, highlighting a major shift in the company's long-term strategy. For a decade, Apple had been quietly working on the EV project, yet the company maintained a level of secrecy, never officially confirming its intention to enter the automotive industry.


Despite this lack of formal acknowledgment, the nature of Apple's activities in this area implied a strong commitment to the project. The company's actions suggested that the introduction of an Apple-branded electric vehicle was a matter of 'when' rather than 'if'.


However, recent reports indicate a significant change in direction, marking the end of Apple's ambitious project to add an electric vehicle to its product lineup.


Apple's involvement in the automotive sector dates back several years, indicating a serious interest in this field. The company started recruiting specialists from the automotive industry as early as 2014, signaling its intent to explore this new territory.



A significant milestone in this journey was achieved in April 2017 when Apple secured a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This permit allowed the tech giant to test autonomous vehicles, a clear sign of its growing interests in automotive technologies.


Further cementing its commitment to this new venture, Apple acquired Drive.ai in 2019. Drive.ai was a start-up specializing in autonomous cars, and this acquisition showcased Apple's serious intentions in the automotive space, particularly in the realm of self-driving technology.


In 2021, Apple's efforts in the electric vehicle domain were further intensified with a notable recruitment. The company brought on board a highly regarded engineer from BMW, who had a significant role in the electric vehicle segment at the German automaker.


This move was indicative of Apple's serious investment in developing a competent EV. In addition to this key hiring, Apple also employed over a hundred drivers for the purpose of testing 68 car prototypes. These vehicles were part of a project internally named "Titan", hinting at the grand scale and ambition behind Apple's automotive endeavors.



This phase of extensive testing and the recruitment of a high-profile industry expert reflected Apple's deep dive into the complex world of electric vehicles.


Bloomberg, a leading financial news outlet, was the first to report on Apple's strategic shift away from the electric vehicle project. Citing sources close to the Titan EV project, Bloomberg revealed that Apple is now redirecting its focus towards the development of its artificial intelligence division.


This pivot suggests a significant change in the company's priorities and long-term goals. Instead of continuing with the costly and complex EV project, Apple seems to be channeling its resources and expertise into the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence. This strategic realignment implies a reassessment of market trends and Apple's role in future technological advancements.


Industry experts have expressed little surprise over Apple's decision to abandon its electric vehicle project. Among them, Susannah Streeter, a director at the British investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, provided insight into this development.



She observed that Apple is adapting to current market trends, where the enthusiasm for electric vehicle investments has diminished in light of the growing excitement around artificial intelligence. Streeter pointed out that staying ahead of the competition is crucial for Apple, particularly in terms of developing technologies and products that align with current consumer needs.


In this context, artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming a focal point of interest for both manufacturers and consumers, overshadowing other technological areas like electric vehicles. This shift in focus reflects Apple's strategy to remain at the forefront of technological innovation and market trends.


02.03.2024



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