Apple car rumored to arrive in 2026, keeps steering wheel

Apple’s much-rumored car project is reportedly still going, but with a later launch than previously thought and without full self-driving capability.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Apple will launch a car in 2026, about a year later than the original target date.

According to the sources, one of the reasons for the delay was a change in the original plan to develop the car without steering and pedals. The car is now expected to ship with these controls, as the self-driving capability will be limited to freeway driving rather than working in all situations, the sources said.

According to Bloomberg, Apple plans to develop a car that will allow the driver to watch a video or surf the web while cruising the freeway, and then give the driver ample time to regain control if necessary. Such capability would place the car at level 4 on the SAE self-driving capability scale. The ultimate goal is level 5, i.e. a car that can match the skills of a human.

Bloomberg also reported that Apple has yet to finalize a design and that the company is still looking for a partner to source a platform.

Apple is silent on plans related to the car project, often referred to as Project Titan. The company has filed several patents related to cars and driving in recent years and has hired several auto industry veterans.

Apple isn’t the only tech company looking to get into the auto business. Alphabet is in the process of expanding its Waymo robotaxi service to more cities, and China’s Baidu plans to launch the largest robotaxi service as early as 2023, bringing advanced, software-controlled electric vehicles to market in 2026.

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