Apple fires 190 workers from self-driving car project

Apple Lexus self-driving vehicle

Apple has reportedly verified it is eliminating 190 employees from its ambitious self-driving car project named Titan.

According to a report in San Francisco Chronicle, the Cupertino-based company has laid off mainly engineers, including 38 engineering programme managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers and 22 software engineers.

The layoffs in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale would be effective from April 16, an Apple filing with the California Employment Development Department show.

CNBC reported in January that layoffs were taking place in Apple’s self-driving car division. Apple earlier cut hundreds of jobs in the self-driving car division in 2016.

In August last year, Tesla’s former engineering Vice President Doug Field was appointed by Apple to supervise team Titan.

The fleet of Apple’s self-driving programmes is comprised of 66 Lexus RX450h SUVs, each of them is fitted with huge racks of LIDAR and radar sensors along with cameras, roaming around the San Francisco Bay Area to perfect the sensors, computer systems and software needed for a vehicle to safely drive itself, AppleInsider reported.

The iPhone-maker is also noted to be applying some of the Titan-technology into a self-driving shuttle program titled “Palo Alto to Infinite Loop” or “PAIL” — meant to ferry Apple workers between the Bay Area campuses, using specially designed Volkswagen vans, the report said.

In May last year, with 55 self-driving cars and 83 drivers, Apple touched the second highest number of self-driving cars in California followed by General Motor’s Cruise, that had 104 vehicles.

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