The Apple Car project has undergone several shifts in development scope since it began in 2014. The original plan was to create a self-driving car without a steering wheel or pedals. Apple has since decided that plan wasn’t feasible. The company is now planning a design that will include both a steering wheel and pedals and will only support full autonomous capabilities on highways. Meanwhile, Apple is exploring the possibility of a remote command center that would assist drivers and control cars remotely during emergencies. The company is also discussing offering its own insurance program to customers.
The new plan aims to complete the design by next year, have the car’s features set by the end of 2024, and then put the car through extensive testing in 2025. If all goes according to plan, the Apple Car would be available in 2026. The consumer model is slated to be priced at under $100,000. That would put it in roughly the same price range as the entry-level version of the Model S from Tesla and the EQS from Mercedes-Benz.
The Apple car organization, made up of about 1,000 employees, is split across campuses in Sunnyvale, California; Ottawa; Zurich; and Arizona. Much of the underlying engineering work, industrial design and software development is done in Sunnyvale, while parts of the car’s future operating system are developed in Ottawa.