Apple 'Reboots' Self-Driving Car Initiative Amid Project Layoffs and Closures

Apple has closed parts of its self-driving car project and laid off dozens of employees attached to it as it reboots its plan for self-driving vehicles, according to The New York Times. The move comes just over a month after the company reportedly began shifting its car project to autonomous driving systems rather than vehicles under Bob Mansfield.

applecar
Mansfield, a longtime Apple executive who was previously Vice President of Technologies, was appointed to oversee the car project in late July, adjusting the project to focus on the "underlying technology" for autonomous vehicles rather than actually building an automobile. The layoffs, according to The New York Times, are part of the strategic shift of the project.


Apple employees were told that the layoffs were part of a “reboot” of the car project, the people briefed on it said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Apple had made some progress in the development of Project Titan, the codename for its car project, having a number of self-driving vehicles in testing. The cars were tested with simple, limited operating routes in closed environments, but the technology was far from ready for primetime, reports The New York Times.

The Cupertino company had recruited hundreds of engineers from Tesla, Ford, GM, other car companies and employees in other divisions of Apple to work on its car project, growing the Apple Car team to nearly 1,000 members.

Earlier this year, Steve Zadesky, former Ford engineer and VP of Product Design, left the company for personal reasons. He had been in charge of the project and reported to Dan Riccio, Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering. Rumors have suggested that the departure of Zadesky resulted in delays of the project and internal strife due to challenges like unattainable timelines and organizational changes. The original launch target for the Apple Car was said to be in 2020, but changes and delays to the project had caused it to slip into 2021.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

jdillings Avatar
77 months ago
I heard Zadesky left after Schiller told him to be courageous and remove the wheels from the Apple car. Schiller told him, "Maintaining ancient, single-purpose wheels doesn't make sense because that space is at a premium on a car".
Score: 100 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lcseds Avatar
77 months ago
Shut it down and concentrate on the core business that once made you the greatest.
This is like McDonalds going into house building.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
falainber Avatar
77 months ago
I guess computer company may not be the most natural place for developing cars.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolX Avatar
77 months ago
Elon was right! Think of all them fools who left Tesla for Apple! I hope he don't let them back!
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bubba Satori Avatar
77 months ago
I love the Apple car and we are very committed to it.

Stay tuned,

Tim Courage

Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gasu E. Avatar
77 months ago
Shut it down and concentrate on the core business that once made you the greatest.
This is like McDonalds going into house building.
You've never heard of Ronald McDonald House?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...
iOS 16 battery percentage

Apple Limiting iOS 16 Beta 5 Battery Percentage Display to Select iPhones: Here Are the Supported Devices

Tuesday August 9, 2022 2:51 am PDT by
Apple this week brought back one of the most highly requested features from iOS users since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017: the ability to see your battery percentage directly in the status bar. Ever since the launch of the iPhone X with the notch, Apple has not allowed users to show their battery percentage directly in the status bar, forcing them to swipe down into Control Center to...
ios 16 battery indicator 2

Everything New in iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage in Status Bar, Find My Changes and More

Monday August 8, 2022 12:53 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of iOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, introducing some small but notable changes to the iOS operating system. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've rounded up everything new in the fifth beta below. Battery Percentage in Status Bar The battery icon in the status bar now displays the exact battery percent, a feature that ...
iphone 14 pro max camera bump compared lipilipsi 16 9

Bigger iPhone 14 Pro Max Camera Bump Shown Alongside iPhone 13 Pro Max

Monday August 8, 2022 4:33 am PDT by
The camera bump on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to be the largest rear lens housing Apple has ever installed on its flagship smartphones, and a new photo offers a rare glimpse at just how prominent it is compared to Apple's predecessor device. iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy (left) vs iPhone 13 Pro Max All iPhone 14 models are expected to see upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera on the...
cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
airpods pro black background

Beyond iPhone 14: Five Apple Products Expected to Launch Later This Year

Monday August 8, 2022 9:43 am PDT by
While the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 are expected to be announced in September as usual, there are several more Apple products rumored to launch later this year, including new iPad and Mac models and more. Beyond the iPhone and Apple Watch, we've put together a list of five Apple products that are most likely to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Second-Generation AirPods Pro Apple...