Five new Vision Pro related patents cover Fan with Debris Mitigation, Sweat Mitigation Structures, a Magnification Tool and more
It's been a Bad News week for Apple after Killing off their Vehicle and microLED Display projects

Apple Executives made a stunning announcement today: Project Titan, its Decadelong Vehicle Project is Dead

1 cover Project Titan CANCELLEDNote: This is a repost of our Feb 27th report. The original Permalink was incorrect. A proper Permalink is required for us to properly archive this important report. 

Apple made a rather stunning disclosure internally Tuesday, surprising the nearly 2,000 employees working on Project Titan, Apple's decadelong effort to build an electric car. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president in charge of the effort made the announcement. It was Apple's most ambitious projects in the history.

The two executives told staffers that the project will begin winding down and that many employees on the car team — known as the Special Projects Group, or SPG — will be shifted to the artificial intelligence division under executive John Giannandrea. Those employees will focus on generative AI projects, an increasingly key priority for the company.

The decision to ultimately wind down the project is a bombshell for the company, ending a multibillion-dollar effort called Project Titan that would have vaulted Apple into a whole new industry. The tech giant started working on a car around 2014, setting its sights on a fully autonomous electric vehicle with a limousine-like interior and voice-guided navigation." To date, Patently Apple covered 175 patents for Project Titan, including two more that were posted earlier today. The category will remain open for historical reasons for the time being.

Gurman further noted that "Apple was still years away from producing a car and contemplated many different designs. Beyond the look of the vehicle, cracking self-driving technology was a major challenge. Apple had road-tested its system since 2017 using a Lexus SUV exterior, putting dozens of vehicles on roads in the US. The company also tested more secretive components on a gigantic track in Phoenix that was once owned by Chrysler.

Apple once envisioned creating a car without a steering wheel and pedals, but it scrapped that notion earlier. The company also spent time working on a remote command center that could take over for a driver.

Apple reportedly spent $113 billion on total research and development over the past five years, with an average annual growth rate of about 16%. The company also recently launched the Vision Pro headset — its first new product category in almost a decade — and has built up that business.

The company has scrapped projects before, including a plan to make a TV set that was abandoned around 2015. But few endeavors have lasted this long, involved so many employees or racked up billions of dollars in expenses. For more, read the full Bloomberg report.

No matter how you look at this, Apple cancelling Project Titan is nothing shy of a colossal hit on their reputation as an innovator.

Yet with that said, Apple, like many others racing into semi and fully autonomous vehicles were almost banking on the Biden administrations' historic $1 Trillion infrastructure investment that was to provide massive funds earmarked for smart roads. This would have made autonomous vehicles safer and allow for a completely new vehicle form factor to emerge focused on  leisure vehicles requiring no driver.

2 smart roads

With the U.S. deficit out of control, paying billions to support illegals flooding into the country, financing multiple wars, smart roads just never stood a chance of getting off the ground, killing many related projects like Project Titan.   

Covering Project Titan patents over the past decade has been a fascinating journey as Apple set out to reinvent every aspect of various styled vehicles. Apple was reinventing HVAC systems (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning); smart seating; windows with automatic shading when the sun was glaring; advanced LIDAR lighting systems to allow autonomous vehicles to better see the road at night under varying conditions; to a smart windshield with AR capabilities like turn by turn instructions; to providing a table for back seated passengers to rest their MacBook or other devices on while being driven to work or taking a road trip and so much more. Whether Apple will now put their extensive patent portfolio up for sale is unknown at this time.   

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