Dubbed as a restructuring exercise, Apple has released 200 engineers from their super secret group who was working on “Project Titan”. This project was meant to be Apple’s autonomous car project which started out with grand ambitions that Apple is building both the car and the technology necessary but in recent times have pivoted to focusing on the technology.
In a shock move by Apple, they released a statement confirming that they have indeed let people go.
“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple,” the person said. “We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever.”
Although reports by CNBC didn’t confirm if the employees were indeed fired or reassigned to other divisions in Apple, we can safely say that their skills will definitely be needed at other companies who are racing against Waymo to bring autonomous vehicles to the public.
Last year in August, Apple hired Doug Field from Tesla to head up the division and many see the layoffs as a part of new leadership making some changes. Whether it may be streamlining development or focusing on a specific area, Apple will still tight-lipped about the matter.