Apple's self-propelled car project can approach the end of the road.
After rumors were discovered last year that the company slashed its workforce for Project Titan, Apple confirmed today that 1
90 employees in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale have been released from the self-propelled car project.
Project Titan was reported green light at the end of 2014. Apple hired hundreds of engineers who planned to design and build themselves – driving a car. Many directions have turned on the battle project, and the company has gradually shifted its focus to just making the underlying autonomous vehicle technology instead of a complete car.
Massive redundancies struck Project Titan
Apple revealed the latest disclosures in a letter to California Employment Development Department. An Apple spokesman confirmed the resignations in the letter and said they will take effect on April 16.
Engineers were most affected by the redundancies. According to The SF Chronicle 38 technical programmers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product designers and 22 software engineers were among those who were cut.
Internally, Apple has characterized these layoffs as something to be expected with a new leader on a project. Doug Field returned to Apple at the end of the summer after earning five years at Tesla. He is now working with Bob Mansfield to lead Project Titan.
Still a long way forward
Details of Apple's self-propelled car project were only posted by the company last week. Apple's cars needed a driver to take over once every 1.1 kilometers. By comparison, Google's Waymo division only had a disconnect every 11,017 miles.
It is unclear what the future holds for Apple's automotive industry ambitions from here. Tim Cook has said that self-driving cars are the mother of all AI problems. With the iPhone sales drop though, the company seems to be tightening its focus by setting up projects that aren't as promising.