Tim Cook on Apple’s Car Making Plans: An Autonomous Car Is a Robot

According to reports from more or less reliable sources, Apple has been working on an autonomous electric vehicle called Project Titan since at least 2014. Having kept the secret for so long, it’s not going to spill the beans now, just because public anticipation is through the roof.
Tim Cook says Apple is interested in full autonomy, stops short of confirming the autonomous Apple Car, aka Project Titan 1 photo
Photo: YouTube/AppleExplained
With more carmakers turning their attention to EVs, reports on Apple’s own car have increased in numbers and frequency in 2021. Unnamed insiders say it could come as early as 2024 or as late as 2027, while others have claimed Hyundai or Kia would build it (both of which turned out to be false). All reports have in common the claim that, whenever it comes and whoever builds it, the Apple car will be fully autonomous.

Kara Swisher got Apple CEO Tim Cook for a sit-down on the New York Times’ Sway podcast, and he briefly spoke about Project Titan. Technically, he spoke about Apple’s projections regarding full autonomy and how it viewed an AV (autonomous vehicle) as a robot, stopping short of confirming whether they have any plans of building one.

“We love to integrate hardware, software, and services, and find the intersection points of those because we think that’s where the magic occurs,” Cook says. “And so that’s what we love to do. And we love to own the primary technology that’s around that. The autonomy itself is a core technology, in my view. If you sort of step back, the car, in a lot of ways, is a robot. An autonomous car is a robot. And so there’s lots of things you can do with autonomy. And we’ll see what Apple does.”

Asked directly about plans to build one, Cook took the roundabout way of saying that Apple investigates “so many things internally” and not all of them reach mass production. But there’s no telling on what could happen with this one.

On the same podcast, Cook had to fend one question about Elon Musk’s claim that he once tried to sell Tesla to Apple when the former was on the brink of bankruptcy, for a tenth of its value, and Cook wouldn’t even take a call. Ever the diplomat, Cook said he didn’t even know Elon but that he had nothing but “admiration and respect” for the company Musk built and turned into a leader on the EV market.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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