Apple’s “Project Titan” automotive project is not enjoying a smooth ride, according to a new report that claims the company is no longer interested in building an Apple Car.
Hundreds of members of the Project Titan team — which at one point was comprised of 1,000 people — have reportedly been reassigned, let go, or left Apple of their accord. Apple, meanwhile, is said to have put in place a make-or-break deadline of late next year to decide whether to get out of the automotive game altogether, according to Bloomberg.
The article suggests that Apple’s original plan was to build a self-driving electric car that could recognize drivers by their Touch ID fingerprint.
However, the Apple Car project has suffered from confused leadership, particularly regarding whether Cupertino would build its own vehicle or merely an underlying self-driving platform that could be licensed out to other companies.
According to Bloomberg, the first wave of Apple Car employees were cut in August, while a second wave received their marching orders last month. John Wright, a veteran Apple manager who was leading the software team, reportedly left the project in September.
More problems for Apple Car
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of teething problems for Apple’s automotive plans.
Apple veteran Bob Mansfield reportedly got called in to steer Project Titan earlier this year. Layoffs followed as Apple “rebooted” its automotive project.
It’s worth noting that other Apple projects, which later went on to be successful, ran into early problems.
With that said, it sounds like Apple doesn’t have a particularly strong vision for where or what it wants Apple Car to be. If that’s the case, then it’s easy to see why members of the team would be frustrated — particularly when you’re dealing with automotive experts with the level of expertise Apple has been recruiting these past few years.
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