Apple’s Failed $1 Billion Electric Car Project Detailed in New Exposé

Apple’s self-driving electric car project was recently killed entirely—an expensive $1 billion experiment that saw its demise based on indecision and high hopes.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has now shared an exposé detailing what Apple was thinking for its car project and why it was shelved. It seems Apple was a bit overconfident in its abilities when it came to building a car—something it had never done before.

An excerpt below details how Apple had a car design known as the “Bread Loaf”, essentially a rounded mini van that was supposed to drive itself. Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives were impressed with the car, as they experience it in on a test track:

Around the beginning of 2020, Apple Inc.’s top executives gathered at a former Chrysler testing track in Wittmann, Arizona, to try out the latest incarnation of the car the technology giant had been trying for years to make. The prototype, a white minivan with rounded sides, an all-glass roof, sliding doors and whitewall tires, was designed to comfortably seat four people and inspired by the classic flower-power Volkswagen microbus. The design was referred to within Apple, not always affectionately, as the Bread Loaf. The plan was for the vehicle to hit the market some five years later with a giant TV screen, a powerful audio system and windows that adjusted their own tint. The cabin would have club seating like a private plane, and passengers would be able to turn some of the seats into recliners and footrests.

Most important, the Bread Loaf would have what’s known in the industry as Level 5 autonomy, driving entirely on its own using a revolutionary onboard computer, a new operating system and cloud software developed in-house. There would be no steering wheel and no pedals, just a video-game-style controller or iPhone app for driving at low speed as a backup. Alternately, if the car found itself in a situation that it was unable to navigate, passengers would phone in to an Apple command center and ask to be driven remotely.

Again, the story goes that Apple looked into acquiring Tesla, but Cook axed the idea. Apple did get close to a deal with British automaker, McLaren though, which would have ended up with former Apple design chief landing a design studio in London, writes Gurman. Talks with BMW and Canon did not materialize.

Click here to check out the full story—it’s behind a paywall, however (Apple News users click here). But if you can bypass it, the report sheds some light on a failed Apple attempt to build a self-driving electric car. The electric car is the new smartphone—where will Apple be in the next 5-10 years? Still churning out baby iPad updates?

P.S. Help support us and independent media here: Buy us a beer, Buy us a coffee, or use our Amazon link to shop.