The year has barely started and yet Apple keeps making headlines– and not the good kind.
Apple left 200 people jobless after conducting a mass layoff in its top-secret autonomous car division, Project Titan. The sudden move, which the company describes as mere “restructuring” has everyone thinking whether the Apple Car is indeed dead.
Although Project Titan was first announced last 2017, it remained a mystery to the outside world up until July of 2018. An engineer named Xiaolang Zhang from the autonomous vehicle project was sued for apparently taking Apple secrets to a rival Chinese company. In court, it was revealed that Apple had roughly 5,000 employees out of a total 135,000 who knew about Project Titan, out of which, 2700 were core members. If the mass layoffs only occurred within the core team, this means that Apple cut 7.4% of their staff for Project Titan.
According to a spokesperson who was interviewed by CNBC 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 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.”