It sounds like Apple is dialing back its plans to build its own self-driving car, at least for now.
Hundreds of workers involved in Apple’s plan to build self-driving cars, internally known as Project Titan, have either been let go, reassigned or have left the company according to Bloomberg, quoting unnamed sources. It seems that the Apple brass have decided that engineering and assembling a car is not in the cards for the tech company, at least for now.
Development has been re-focused to an autonomous driving system that will allow Apple to either partner with existing automakers, or to return to development of its own car sometime in the future. A deadline has been set in late 2017 for the Apple team to decide on which direction it will take in the future and to prove the feasibility of its self-driving system.
According to the report, Project Titan has struggled with leadership changes and coming up with a unified strategic vision since inception. Apple is also said to have hit a wall when researching automotive supply chains and exactly what is involved with getting a production facility off the ground.
When the strategy shift was announced, more than 120 software engineers working on an operating system for the vehicle were let go, while several hundred hardware engineers developing suspension and chassis systems also left the company. Currently, a team of software engineers are still working on the self-driving car software, sensors and simulators for testing the car in the real world.