Friday, 22 February, 2019

Ride over for 200 employees of Apple’s autonomous vehicle program

Apple Lays Off 200 Project Titan Employees | News & Opinion Apple Cuts 200 Employees From Project Titan Autonomous Car Division
Wayne Curry | 27 January, 2019, 15:43

Apple has cut more than 200 employees from its self-driving auto team, known internally as "Project Titan". Notably, these weren't all layoffs as a good number of employees have reportedly been shifted over to different project groups within the company. Per an Apple spokesperson, these reshuffled employees will still be involved in machine learning and other company projects.

An Apple spokesperson stated the company still sees "a huge opportunity with autonomous systems" but wants to turn their attention to other more pressing initiatives. Internally, Apple's new Project Titan management reprioritized segments of the project for 2019 and those on teams not needed were simply reassigned within the company. To Apple was returned last summer, Doug Field, who had recently played a Central role in vehicle development of the electric car-manufacturer Tesla.

Among the employees impacted by the restructuring process, some are moving to other departments.

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Apple's secretive vehicle project has been going since 2014, and has been marked by executive reshuffles, changes in direction, and rounds of layoffs. Has Project Titan come to an end? Thews prompted Apple to respond with a confirmation. However, with this latest development it is not clear as to what will happen to the company's autonomous auto project. Furthermore, Tim Cook himself said that machine learning and autonomous cars are incredibly important for the company's future.

An Apple spokesman reached for comment did not confirm nor dispute the report but shared a statement describing a staff reshuffling. Apple's partnership with Volkswagen earlier this year was read by some as the effective end of the company's effort to build its own radical design. Speaking to Bloomberg, he said: "We're focusing on autonomous systems".

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