Apple Lays Off 200 Workers From Secretive Self-Driving Car Project
CEO Tim Cook called it "the mother of all AI projects" in 2017.
Things are not looking good for Apple’s Project Titan, the company’s mysterious autonomous car division.
Sources with knowledge of the program told CNBC that Apple dismissed “just over 200 employees this week” from the project. An unconfirmed number of them will be moved to other projects including “machine learning and other initiatives across all of Apple,” a spokesperson told CNBC.
Apple has managed to keep the project almost entirely under wraps. Back in October 2017, we got a glimpse of Project Titan’s self-driving test car, which had an impressive array of sensors attached to its roof. In March 2018, Apple decided to nearly double its fleet of self-driving cars.
We also heard of Apple amassing a talented team of engineers for the project, including Doug Field, Tesla’s former engineering vice president. As of today, Field and Apple veteran Bob Mansfield will take over the reigns of Project Titan, according to CNBC.
Strength and Weakness
Needless to say, Apple’s interest in self-driving car technology appears to be waning. But the project isn’t quite dead yet.
The competition is steep, and even the most successful players in the game such as Alphabet’s Waymo are only starting to bring the technology to the masses.
Apple knows how to play to its strengths — and they arguably have only little to do with the automotive industry.
More on self-driving cars: Exclusive: A Waymo One Rider’s Experiences Highlight Autonomous Rideshare’s Shortcomings