“A group of automotive engineers has left Apple Inc. for self-driving car startup Zoox Inc. after the world’s most valuable technology company backed off plans to build its own vehicle, according to people familiar with the situation,” Alex Webb reports for Bloomberg.

“The 17 engineers specialize in designing elements present in both traditional and autonomous vehicles, such as braking and suspension systems, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the moves aren’t public. Many of them originally joined Apple from Detroit carmakers and suppliers,” Webb reports. “Apple pared back its automotive ambitions last year after rising costs and headcount at Project Titan, as the program is dubbed. Hundreds of engineers were either fired, reassigned or left of their own volition and the project was given a deadline of late 2017 to prove the feasibility of its autonomous driving system and decide on a final direction, people familiar with its workings told Bloomberg News last year.”

“Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in June that Apple is focusing on autonomous driving systems,” Webb reports. “That technology could then be licensed to carmakers, or Apple’s efforts to make its own car may be resurrected at a later date.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Once again, as we wrote a week ago:

So, Apple’s going to make a vehicle operating system and license it out to other companies because that’s what they do… Oh, wait.

Or could this simply be that Apple wants to get the hard stuff (autonomous vehicle OS) done first and will wait do the easier stuff (vehicle hardware) later (based on when and if they succeed with the software)?

The answer is, most likely, “Yes.”

SEE ALSO:
Apple scales back its ambitions for a self-driving car – August 23, 2017
Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ remains as fuzzy as ever – June 14, 2017
Tim Cook says Apple is focusing on an autonomous car system; does not rule out making own vehicles – June 13, 201
How Apple is training testers for self-driving Apple Car – April 24, 2017
Apple permit reveals self-driving car testers include NASA roboticists – April 24, 2017
Apple + satellites = ? – April 22. 2017
Why Apple may be interested in space satellites – April 21, 2017
Apple’s self-driving car test program revealed in new document – April 21, 2017
Analyst: Apple ‘almost certainly’ exploring making a whole car but there’s a big challenge – April 18, 2017
Right now, the ‘Apple Car’ is a 2015 Lexus RX 450h SUV – April 17, 2017
Gene Munster on Apple Car: Exploration does not mean a product comes to market – April 17, 2017
Apple’s Project Titan: California makes it official – April 17, 2017
Why you should get your self-driving car from Apple – April 17, 2017
Apple secures permit to test autonomous vehicles – April 15, 2017
Apple’s letter to the U.S. NHTSA reveals 30-year Detroit veteran on its stealth ‘Project Titan’ team – December 8, 2016
Apple files patent for autonomous vehicle collision avoidance system – December 8, 2016
Apple letter all but confirms plans for self-driving cars and commitment to privacy – December 5, 2016
Apple drops hints about autonomous-vehicle project in letter to U.S. transportation regulators – December 3, 2016
It’s not McLaren Racing, but McLaren Applied Technologies, that’s the apple of Apple’s eye – September 23, 2016
Apple-target McLaren is a tech company disguised as a carmaker – September 22, 2016
Supercar-maker McLaren says not in discussion with Apple ‘in respect of any potential investment’ – September 22, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire British supercar maker McLaren – September 21, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire electric vehicle-maker Lit Motors – September 21, 2016