ICar or NoCar? Apple Car Project Hit With Layoffs, Future Uncertain
Apple’s self-driving car project seems to have reached the point in a TV show where new actors take on old roles and the script flies out the window.
According to the New York Times, the tech giant’s Project Titan has been hit with a slew of layoffs, leaving several areas of the project boarded up and in the dark.
Is the shadowy Apple car, once the dream of nerds everywhere, powering down?
News of the layoffs, described by an Apple employee as being in the dozens, comes after project leaders seemed to pull a mid-summer U-turn. After Bob Mansfield took the lead on the project back in July, reports arose of a sudden change in direction. The focus of Project Titan reportedly switched from building an autonomous car to developing autonomous car technology.
Sources claim Apple employees were told that the layoffs are part of a “reboot” of the self-driving electric car project.
This, after repeated pushbacks of the release date of a real, physical vehicle, be it prototype or production. Is it time to stop speculating on what form the mysterymobile will take?
Sources claim the company already has several fully autonomous vehicles currently undergoing testing, though it isn’t clear if Apple designed the vehicles — not the autonomous technology — in-house. The testing takes place on closed tracks, which explains the lack of spy photos.
The question plaguing Apple (one mentioned by company sources) is what exactly can the company produce that isn’t already in development by a number of other companies? Several automakers, as well as tech companies like Google and ride-hailing company Uber, have self-driving car projects underway.
More by Steph Willems