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Apple cancels work on an electric car, reports say

The crowd waits for Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, to deliver a keynote speech during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2017. (Gary Reyes/MediaNews Group/Bay Area News/Getty Images)

LONDON (CNN) — Apple has abandoned decade-long efforts to build a self-driving electric car, according to multiple media reports, calling time on a project that some saw as potentially transformative for the auto industry.

Many employees working on the project will be moved to the company’s artificial intelligence division, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the decision citing people with knowledge of the matter. CNN has contacted Apple (AAPL) for comment.

The news comes as electric vehicle (EV) sales have disappointed, prompting several major manufacturers to pull back on investments.

The iPhone maker never confirmed long-running speculation that it would make an EV, but had taken several steps over the past 10 years that suggested it was serious about its car efforts, dubbed “Project Titan” internally.

Apple had been hiring automotive executives since at least 2014 and, in April 2017, it received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test self-driving vehicles. Two years later, it acquired, a self-driving car startup. And in 2021, Apple hired a BMW veteran who had steered the German carmaker’s EV efforts.

It also secured several car-related patents, including one for a virtual reality system to address motion sickness, and a patent for adjusting the tint on a window in real time.

Some experts have in the past speculated that it was more likely Apple would partner with one or multiple carmakers to sell a car operating system, self-driving software or other related technology, rather than making the entire vehicle.

In 2020, Morgan Stanley analysts said an Apple car had the potential to be “a transformative event” for the automobile and mobility industry in the coming decades, much as the iPhone disrupted the mobile phone industry.

This is a developing story and will be updated.