A report from CNBC says Apple has cut over 200 employees from its top secret “Project Titan” autonomous vehicle program, however, the company says it still sees a “huge opportunity” in the space.
Apple confirmed the report, but said that the layoffs are part of staff restructuring.
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
Besides division layoffs, Apple is also saying select staff have been moved to other sections within the company, such as machine learning.
In August 2018, Apple enlisted a Tesla engineering vice president and Apple veteran, Doug Field, to lead the Titan team alongside Bob Mansfield.
But in recent months, Apple has generally remained silent on its autonomous vehicle program. Further, Cook has been more than prominent in touting health-related features as the number one priority for Apple, going so far to say it will be the company’s “greatest contribution to mankind".