Apple has laid off 200 employees earlier this week from Project Titan, which is its autonomous vehicle group. In August 2017, Apple enlisted a Tesla engineering vice president and Apple veteran, Doug Field, to lead the Titan team alongside Bob Mansfield.
However, this week’s dismissals from the group were seen as anticipated restructuring under the relatively new leadership. The laid-off employees will be staying at Apple but will be moved to different parts of the company. Apple, for a while now has been silent about the company’s car prospects indicating that the company has scaled back from the initial rumored vehicle to a focus on software. In 2016, Apple laid off employees from the same group, shifting its strategy. An Apple spokesperson acknowledged the layoffs and said the company still sees opportunity in the space.
In a statement, the spokesperson said:
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. 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.