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It was reported on February 27, 2024 that after a secret effort spanning ten years, Apple Inc. has decided to abandon its electric car project.

According to Bloomberg News, some employees working on Apple’s electric car project will be reassigned to the artificial intelligence (AI) department.

Reuters cited Ben Bajarin, CEO of the US innovation strategy consulting firm, reporting that if the news of Apple’s abandonment of the electric car project is true, Apple will focus more on general AI. This will give investors greater confidence in Apple’s efforts and capabilities to compete in AI on a platform level.

Apple has not taken significant action in the AI field so far. In contrast, tech giants such as Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and Microsoft have taken the lead in the field of AI.

Apple started its electric car project about ten years ago. Reuters reported in 2020 that Apple was considering releasing an electric car as early as 2024 or 2025.

However, Apple Inc. and its CEO Tim Cook have never publicly mentioned the car-making project, referring only to “autonomous driving systems.” The company has also not disclosed the amount of its investment in the automotive field.

According to Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC), Apple’s R&D spending in 2023 was about $30 billion (US), a 14% increase from 2022. Agence France-Presse reported that Apple is believed to have invested billions of dollars in the car-making project.

However, Apple’s electric car project seems to have come at an inopportune time. As the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, high interest rates dampen consumer sentiment and reduce market demand, forcing layoffs and production cuts in the US electric car industry. Several electric car manufacturers, including Tesla, have decided to reduce investment, with some shifting their focus from pure electric cars to hybrid vehicles.

CNBC commented that abandoning the electric car project, which had been pursued for 10 years, means the end of Apple’s efforts to challenge Tesla’s electric cars. The report said that Apple’s electric car project employed thousands of employees, but this business never aligned with its two core businesses, electronic devices, and online services.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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