“Apple Inc said on Wednesday it planned to lay off 190 employees in its self-driving car program, Project Titan, changes that provide a rare window into the automotive technologies the company has been pursuing,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters. “The public documents filed with regulators provide some previously undisclosed clues.”
“Some of the positions hint at physical products for consumers: three product design engineers and an ergonomics engineer face layoffs. A machine shop supervisor was among the reductions, though it is unclear how many machinists reported to the supervisor and whether the shop fabricates automotive parts or smaller parts for electronics and sensors,” Nellis reports. “The layoffs appear to be the first major shake-up of Project Titan under Doug Field, who returned to Apple last year as Vice President of Special Projects after a stint at electric car maker Tesla Inc.”
“Despite the headcount changes, the company appears to have ramped up its testing on California roads,” Nellis reports. “In a filing with regulators earlier this month, Apple said it had logged nearly 80,000 miles of testing in its home state in 2018, far surpassing the less than 1,000 miles it had logged the year before.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: More proof that:
Apple is working on actual vehicles, not just some “vehicleOS” they’d license out to others (which was always a stupid proposition, as anyone who’s studied how Apple works for more than 3 minutes knows implicitly). — MacDailyNews, August 28, 2018
• I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do. — Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004
• In order to build the best products, you have to own the primary technologies. Steve felt that if Apple could do that — make great products and great tools for people — they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015
Project Titan: Apple confirms layoffs for 190 autonomous vehicle employees – February 27, 2019
Apple sharply increases testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads – February 13, 2019
Titan: Apple’s secret autonomous vehicle project is much bigger than people think – January 25, 2019
Apple dismisses more than 200 employees from Project Titan autonomous vehicle project – January 24, 2019
Apple hires designer Andrew Kim away from Tesla – December 17, 2018
Apple Car rumor roundup: Project Titan and what it means – September 1, 2018
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple to launch revolutionary Apple Car within 5-7 years – August 15, 2018
Doug Field, former Tesla engineering chief, returns to Apple – August 10, 2018
Apple’s Project Titan is still a go, says analyst – June 28, 2018
Apple’s autonomous vehicle fleet grows to 62 vehicles in California – May 29, 2018
Apple’s autonomous vehicle project may be closer to fruition than it appears – May 25, 2018
Apple’s Bob Mansfield reboots Apple Car project, lays off several dozen employees – September 10, 2016
Apple hires founder of QNX with Apple Car project increasing focus on self-driving software – July 28, 2016
Apple taps Bob Mansfield to oversee Apple Car project – July 25, 2016
The report shows how significantly Apple autonomous vehicle layoffs provide hints to Project Titan’s direction.
I never saw any “direction” in the first place…
And this happened.
VW and Ford are combining efforts on using a common EV platform for their vehicles and may partner on self-driving tech as well. MB and Audi may be partnering on self driving too. Seems like a potential partner for all of those car companies could in fact be Apple if they successfully tackle the engineering. Will see. Total speculation on my part.