Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Trouble for Tesla? Apple on fast track for electric vehicle debut as EV market intensifies
Apple is building a second, $1 billion campus, which is expected to open in 2022 and initially house 5,000 employees. (Apple)

Apple is reportedly on track to launch a self-driving electric vehicle in 2025, speeding up its timeline for the mysterious self-driving vehicle project known as Project Titan in a significant development in the contest for consumers' attention in EVs.

This move opens the possibility for an expanded EV market in the years to come and follows the expansion of Apple and Tesla's footing in Texas. Apple's billion-dollar Austin campus is preparing to open while Tesla plans to move its headquarters to the growing tech hub.

Apple Campus under construction in

According to a Bloomberg report, the Apple vehicle is trying to create an EV with "stronger safeguards than what's available from Tesla and Waymo." For some consumers switching to cars with more advanced technology, safeguards are key. Between June 2016 and May 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated 36 crashes that involved Tesla EVs or other vehicles with self-driving features.

Among the new plans include a design that doesn't have a steering wheel, but rather a large, iPad-style touchscreen with an interface similar to that of iOS.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously commented on Apple's EV, saying in 2016 that it was obvious they would try to do so and that it would expand the industry. "Tesla will still aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal while at the same time helping other companies to make electric cars as well," Musk said.

Last week, EV company Rivian— which is seeing potential growth in Austin— made its Wall Street debut with the biggest American Initial Public Offering since Facebook, further muddying the waters for Tesla.

The Apple EV project involved former Tesla employee Doug Field, who worked in vehicle programs and engineering before moving to Apple in 2018. Earlier this year, Field left his post as head of Apple's car project and moved to Ford. Apple Watch executive Kevin Lynch took his place.

As Bloomberg notes, core work on the new processor that will power the autonomous EV has been finished. Next steps will involve putting the chip through tests on its California fleet.

Enjoying Austonia? Signup for our newsletter to get daily Austin news, straight to your morning inbox!


Going solo? Austin has the second-highest spike in one-bedroom rent in the US, report says


Introverts and personal space lovers may not want to make the move to Austin anytime soon: The Texas capital saw a bigger increase in one-bedroom rent prices than almost any other U.S. city in April, according to a report.

Keep ReadingShow less