Apple has reportedly confirmed it is firing 190 employees from its ambitious self-driving car project called Titan. Also Read - New iPhone SE to be the most affordable 5G phone from Apple, to launch in 2022
According to a report in San Francisco Chronicle late Wednesday, the Cupertino-based company has laid off mostly engineers, including 38 engineering programme managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers and 22 software engineers. Also Read - iPhone 13 launch date and more details tipped as part of new leaks
The layoffs in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale would take effect from April 16, according to an Apple filing with the California Employment Development Department. Also Read - iPhone 12 Mini reaches end of production already, say rumours
CNBC reported in January that layoffs were occurring in Apple’s self-driving car division. Apple previously cut hundreds of jobs in the self-driving car division in 2016.
In August 2018, Tesla’s former engineering Vice President Doug Field was appointed by Apple to lead team Titan.
The fleet of Apple’s self-driving programmes is made up of 66 Lexus RX450h SUVs, each of which is fitted with huge racks of LIDAR and radar sensors as well as cameras, roaming around the San Francisco Bay Area to perfect the sensors, computer systems and software required for a vehicle to safely drive itself, AppleInsider reported.
The iPhone-maker is also said to be applying some of the Titan-technology into a self-driving shuttle program titled “Palo Alto to Infinite Loop” or “PAIL” — intended to ferry Apple employees between the Bay Area campuses, using specially modified Volkswagen vans, the report added.
In May 2018, with 55 self-driving cars and 83 drivers, Apple touched the second highest number of self-driving cars in California after General Motor’s Cruise, which had 104 vehicles.