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Apple Kills Its Electric Car Project

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Apple Kills Its Electric Car Project

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Apple has canceled its plans to release an electric car with self-driving capabilities, a secretive product that had been in the works for nearly a decade.

The company on Tuesday told employees in an internal meeting that it had scrapped the project and that members of the group would be shifted to different roles, including in its artificial intelligence division, according to a person briefed on the discussion, who requested anonymity because the announcement was not public.

As part of the restructuring, Kevin Lynch, a company executive who had been involved in the car project, will report to John Giannandrea, its head of artificial intelligence strategy, the person said.

Apple declined to comment. The news that Apple was ending its car plan was earlier reported by Bloomberg.

Though Apple had not unveiled its car to consumers, the product had for many years been one of Silicon Valley’s worst-kept secrets because it was being tested on public roads. The cancellation is a rare move by Apple, which typically doesn’t shelve such public and high-profile projects.

The company has struggled in recent years to find new avenues for growth as its all-important iPhone has saturated the market and people are upgrading their phones less frequently than they used to.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has publicly hinted that Apple was interested in entering the car space. The company had also been testing hundreds of vehicles equipped with autonomous driving technology in public for many years. The car, internally code-named “Titan” and project 172, was a challenging product to develop, as parts of the division were shuttered, plans were scrapped and restarted, and dozens of workers were laid off along the way.

The car, which Apple spent billions of dollars researching, had been intended as a rival to Tesla’s electric vehicles, which include autonomous driving features.

The product was important for Mr. Cook’s legacy as it would have countered the perception that Apple had lost its ability to innovate and come up with the next big thing. Under Mr. Cook’s leadership, the company has introduced a small number of new hardware products, including the Apple Watch, which now leads the smart watch market; the HomePod smart speaker, which flopped; and the Vision Pro, the $3,500 goggles that it released this month to rival Meta’s virtual reality headsets.

The company has invested heavily on developing new technologies. In the last five years, it spent $113 billion on research and development.

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