Apple's plan to compete with Tesla is delayed till 2028

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Apple‘s decade-long car project has hit a turning point as the tech giant scales back its self-driving aspirations and sets sights on a more achievable electric vehicle (EV) with features comparable to Tesla‘s Autopilot.

Facing internal pressure and concerns about feasibility, Apple has adjusted its target release date to 2028, two years later than previously anticipated. Unlike a fully autonomous car without a steering wheel or pedals, the new design will feature a Level 2+ driver-assistance system requiring human attention and intervention.

While this marks a significant shift from Apple’s initial ambitions, it reflects the immense challenges of developing a fully self-driving car. The company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development, including powertrains, software, interiors, chips, and extensive closed-road testing. However, a formal prototype stage has not yet been reached.

The new approach seems to aim to strike a balance between technological advancement and practicality. Apple is reportedly in talks with European manufacturing partners for the initial car, with plans to release an upgraded Level 4 version later that offers more autonomous driving capabilities in specific regions. This Level 4 system would allow the car to operate independently under certain conditions but not in all situations or environments.

Despite the scaled-back ambitions, profitability remains a concern for some Apple executives. The car is expected to fall within the $100,000 price range, potentially generating significant revenue but raising questions about whether it can match the iPhone’s impressive profit margins.

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