Apple Dismisses Over 200 Employees From Its Autonomous Car Project: Report

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Apple Dismisses Over 200 Employees From Its Autonomous Car Project: Report
Highlights
  • Some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company
  • There is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems: Apple
  • Company's fleet is made up of Lexus RX450h SUVs

Apple this week dismissed over 200 employees from its autonomous electric car project codenamed "Project Titan" to different parts of the company, CNBC reported on Thursday.

"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 (ML) and other initiatives, across all of Apple," CNBC quoted an Apple spokesperson as saying.

In August 2018, Tesla's former engineering Vice President Doug Field was appointed by Apple to lead team "Titan", and these layoffs have been speculated to be part of a restructuring process under the new leadership. 

In 2016, the Cupertino-based tech giant laid off employees from the same group, shifting its strategy while fully self-driving cars remain experimental for other major players in the field such as Waymo, Cruise and Elon Musk headed Tesla, the report 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 ML project ever," the spokesperson added. 

The fleet of Apple's self-driving programmes is made up of Lexus RX450h SUVs, each of which is fitted with huge racks of LIDAR and radar sensors as well as cameras, the media reported.

In May 2018, with 55 self-driving cars and 83 drivers, Apple touched the second highest number of self-driving cars in the US state of California after General Motor's Cruise, which had 104 vehicles.

Written with inputs from IANS

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