Apple lays off 200 people from its autonomous vehicle team

Sheri Evans
January 25, 2019

Apple has whittled down the number of employees working on the secretive Project Titan autonomous vehicle endeavor.

Apple just hired a Tesla designer. As many as 46 employees left the electric automaker's ranks to join Apple through the first eight months of 2018, according to CNBC.

"We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple", a spokesperson said in a statement. The person added "as the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019" some groups have been moved to other areas within the company, such as machine learning. The dream of Apple actually building a vehicle you'll be able to buy was severely diminished after the New York Times reported, back in 2017, that the company had refocused to build an autonomous shuttle for its employees.

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Apple acknowledged Thursday that it has trimmed its team devoted to self-driving auto technology but stressed that its still in the race.

Apple added a former Tesla executive to a leading role on the self-driving vehicle tech team a year ago, and the staff cut came with internal reorganization. It was initially expected that Apple might actually make the cars themselves, but recent reports suggest that the company is more interested in the technology behind it than building the actual cars. The tech company has reportedly been working with Bosch and Volkswagen on the project. Internally, the company is reportedly spinning the move to downsize as a form of restructuring.

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