NEWS

Report: Apple Car Hits Speed Bumps With Layoffs and Reboot

img1930100163 1460405702517 jpg Thinkstock / Askold Romanov

CARS.COM — If the prospect of a car from Apple Inc. has you fired up, a new report might throw some water on it. The New York Times reported Sept. 9 that Apple has laid off dozens of employees assigned to its self-driving car initiative and closed parts of it, too. The newspaper cited three unnamed sources briefed on the project, code-named Titan.

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Apple representatives did not respond to multiple requests from Cars.com for comment. It comes weeks after the company reportedly brought in new leadership to head the initiative. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the project, The Wall Street Journal reported July 25 that “hundreds of employees” were on Project Titan. The New York Times pegged Titan employees at more than 1,000.

Still, the project’s direction appeared to change when Bloomberg News reported July 28 that Apple was shifting its priorities toward the development of self-driving systems, though an Apple-designed car was still a possibility.

The current layoffs, according to The New York Times, are part of a “reboot” of the car project. Even if the move signals a withdrawal, Apple isn’t the only tech company in the self-driving space: Google owner Alphabet Inc., which already has a fleet of self-driving prototypes, announced in May a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to create self-driving cars. And Uber announced a collaboration with Volvo to have self-driving XC90s available for ride-hailing services in downtown Pittsburgh this year.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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