Will the mythical Apple car ever happen?
It feels like Apple's long-rumored self-driving car project is cursed. As soon as it looks like the project is progressing, it gets hit with another setback. After failing to secure a deal with China's CATL and BYD to supply batteries, Apple reportedly hired a former Tesla engineer last month to join its autonomous car project.
Everything seemed to be going well for a change, as Bloomberg reported the Apple car is on track to arrive in 2025. Unfortunately, Apple's mythical self-driving car has hit yet another roadblock. According to source, three key engineers have walked away from the project to join startup companies working on air taxis.
The engineers include Eric Rogers, who was working as Apple's chief engineer developing a radar system for the project and has left to join the flying-taxi startup Joby Aviation. Archer Alex Clarabut, an engineering manager for the electric car's battery systems group has also abandoned the project to work for another air taxi company called Archer Aviation. Finally, Apple's former hardware engineering manager for the project Stephen Spiteri has also left to join Archer with Clarabut.
It's been a difficult year for Apple as the car project has faced several setbacks. The project was previously led by Doug Field, who was poached by Ford this year.
Michael Schwekutsch, who was in charge of hardware engineering, also left to work for Ford, while other employees have left Apple to work for Rivian. That said, there have been some significant developments this year, too. Over the past 12 months, Apple has enlisted Urlich Kranz, former CEO of autonomous car company Canoo, and CJ Moore, a former self-driving software director at Tesla.
If it ever enters production, Apple is reportedly planning to launch two versions of the car known as Project Titan. One will have full self-driving technology, while the other will have assisted steering and acceleration similar to the Super Cruise technology in the Cadillac Escalade.