Work on the multibillion-dollar plan dubbed Project Titan started a decade ago © Getty Images / ozgurdonmaz

US tech giant Apple has abandoned its decade-long effort to build an electric car, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The anonymous sources told the outlet that the announcement, which Apple made internally on Tuesday, came as a surprise to the nearly 2,000 employees working on the project. The decision was reportedly shared by Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president in charge of the effort. They told the employees the project would begin being phased out and that many of them would be shifted to the company’s artificial intelligence division.

Apple and CEO Tim Cook never acknowledged the car project publicly, instead referring to it as work on “autonomous systems.” That made it a source of intense speculation in the automotive and tech industries.

Since Apple started devoting resources to the concept in 2014, the plans to build an electric semi-autonomous vehicle have repeatedly shifted and attempts to bring a product to market have faced numerous setbacks. Apple axed dozens of employees connected to the project in a 2016 restructuring. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported the tech company’s estimated release date for the car had been delayed until at least 2028.

EV giant Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, responded to Apple’s decision to abandon the project by posting emojis of a salute and a cigarette on his social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

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