Apple Layoffs Over 200 Employees From Self-driving Car Division

The Apple Inc. store is seen on the day of the new iPhone 7 smartphone launch in Los Angeles
The Apple Inc. store is seen on the day of the new iPhone 7 smartphone launch in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 16, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo)

Apple just dismissed over 200 employees working on their self-driving car namely Project Titan. The company has undergone new leadership and a major restructuring process. The spokesperson confirmed their layoffs.

 Apple sent a letter to the California Employment Development Department. In a publication, the spokesperson confirmed the layoff. Also, some of the employees under the Titan, previously been transferred to the other divisions of the company. The groups that are involved with the project are moving to other parts of the company still give support to the company's other efforts.

Tom Neumayr, an Apple spokesman stated that "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," according to CNBC.

The spokesperson added that the company continues to believe that there is a huge opportunity with the autonomous systems. He also mentioned that Apple has a unique capability. "This is the most ambitious machine learning project ever."

As many would know, Apple hired the former Tesla senior engineering VP Doug Field back in August of 2018. He spearheaded the Project Titan. Thus, the tech giant planned a massive change under his division. In 2016, the Project Titan already changed its course. It moved away from developing its own vehicle to create the self-driving system, that can be incorporated into the existing one instead. However, the spokesperson did not clarify what are the "key areas" that the team will be focusing on 2019.

Mostly, the affected employees are the engineers, it includes 22 software engineers, 31 product design engineers, 33 hardware engineers, and 38 engineering program managers. The said layoff will take effect on April 16.The expansion of Apple at the Santa Clara and Sunnyvale that is close to the company's headquarters in Cupertino started in 2014. This is according to the property records and previous news reports. In that the same year, the division for the self-driving cars was founded.

 According to Engadget, this is not the first round of layoffs in the company's team. In 2016, Apple also cut many jobs. It was during the time it shifted from developing a full-fledged autonomous car to just the underlying platform.

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