SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Apple has cut over 200 employees from Project Titan, the company’s autonomous car project, according to a report by CNBC that cited officials close to the project.
Tom Neumayr, a spokesperson from the Cupertino-based tech giant, said that the job cuts came as members of the team came to focus on other projects in other parts of the company.
“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,” he said.
Project Titan is a somewhat secretive operation by Apple, as it hasn’t released many official details about the research and development it has done and is doing. The project is said to have originated in late 2014 by Tim Cook.
Several sources in 2015 reported that Apple hired Johann Jungwirth, the former-president and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, to assist with the project.
In 2018, it was disclosed that Apple had around 5,000 total employees working on the project, which is headed by Apple engineer Bob Mansfield.
In September 2018, Apple was reportedly in third place in the number of California autonomous vehicle permits with 70, behind GM’s Cruise (175) and Alphabet’s Waymo (88), according to TechCrunch.com.