The Doomed Apple Car Project Almost Included Deals With Ford, Tesla, And Mercedes

The Apple Car project is finally dead after a decade of work that ultimately amounted to very little. CEO Tim Cook finally decided to pull the plug on the project after it was decided that it would take another decade to build a fully autonomous vehicle and that launching a standard EV wasn’t something the company wanted to do.

Now, it also appears that Apple was in talks with various well-known carmakers about deals that could have helped make the Apple Car a real product.

According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, Apple was working with Mercedes with the German company set to build Apple’s vehicle. However, the company also wanted to use Apple’s self-driving technology in its own vehicles, something that Apple didn’t want to do and ultimately it backed out of the deal to work together.

Ford, too, was tapped as a company that could launch the Apple Car under its Lincoln brand while Apple reportedly also mulled an acquisition of McLaren that would have seen design chief Jony Ive open a new office in London. Neither of these things happened in the end.

Apple was also reportedly considering Tesla as a partner, either to build its vehicles or to provide batteries while talks ultimately ended with no deal struck.

Apple finally ditched its plans after Kevin Lynch warned that a decade of work was required in order to launch a fully autonomous vehicle. Cook was thought to already be mulling the decision as more engineers and executives left the company to join others.

February 26, 2024, was finally the day that the decision was made to tell the 2,000-strong Apple Car team that the project was coming to a close with many moved on to Apple’s AI and software teams. The project is thought to have cost Apple around $1 billion each year it was running.

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