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Apple found itself at a crossroads of indecision that led to the slow death of Project Titan.

Apple Park, view from Apple Maps

Detailed report on a decade of Apple Car development reveals five rejected concepts, hubris and managerial shortcomings.

Analysts will no doubt be studying Apple's best-kept secret, Project Titan, for years to come. With each new report, interesting facts emerge that were forgotten over time or were never published behind closed doors.

The latest Bloomberg story paints a grim picture of the indecisiveness that ultimately led to the demise of the Apple Car and Project Titan. In the ten years since 2014, Apple has spent about $10 billion on the project and produced at least five prototypes.

The most interesting takeaway from this confusing story is Apple's different design goals. Prototypes included Jony Ive's so-called “Bread Loaf” with club seats, Kevin Lynch's “I-Beam” without a windshield, and a boring final prototype that could have passed for a Tesla.

The Bread Loaf would have an autonomy level of 5. It would have no steering wheel and would have a video game control panel in case the racer needed to take control. It was essentially a minivan with a glass roof, white tires and sliding doors.

The I-Beam was a symmetrical, pill-shaped nightmare that lacked front and rear windows. It's unclear how the driver would be able to take control without seeing the front end.

Every prototype that came and went underwent many changes in design and function, but nothing ever made it to the production stage.

Managers at the top vetoed any requests from employees who wanted to shut down the project. An unnamed Apple executive is quoted as saying, “You could have done this 10 years ago” after the latest version included pedals and a steering wheel.

After Project Titan is completed, approximately 2,000 employees will face reassignment or layoffs. Many are said to be switching to Apple's ambitious artificial intelligence initiatives, expected to arrive later in 2024.

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