The Apple Car might launch in 2026 for under $100,000.

People with knowledge of the matter claim Apple is pushing back the launch of its electric vehicle (EV) by a year. In addition, the initial plan for a fully autonomous system is also scaled back so that it can hit the consumer market earlier. To appeal to a wider group of consumers, Apple is aiming to price the EV under $100,000. Its initial price was said to be above $120,000.

Apple reportedly wanted its first EV to have no steering wheel or pedals, but dropped this plan. The design of the car is still in a “pre-prototype” stage with plans to finalise it by 2023 and the features set by end of 2024. The EV would then go through “extensive testing in 2025”. Apple is also looking for a partner to purchase the EV platform instead of developing its own.

One potential partner could be Porsche; Porsche CEO Oliver Blume revealed in March that the company has discussed possible joint projects with Apple, and both companies have a traditionally close relationship and “on the same wavelength.”

The EV will only support full autonomous capabilities on highways, where it hopes to let drivers do other things such as watching a movie or playing a game. The system will alert the driver with sufficient time to switch to manual control if they are entering a city street or experiencing bad weather.

The Apple Car is said to be powered by a chip that is “equal to about four of Apple's highest-end Mac chips combined.” The chip is believed to be nearly production-ready, but could be scaled down before the launch to reduce costs.

Apple has a number of veterans working on its EV project. Former Lamborghini executive Lugi Taraborrelli is said to be leading the design of the EV. Ex-Ford engineer Desi Ujkashevic joined the EV team earlier this year. Kevin Lynch, the VP of technology at Apple, is reportedly leading the EV team with a focus on hardware engineering and self-driving car sensors.

Source: Bloomberg via 9to5Mac

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