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News Apple "Drastically" Scales Back Car Program - Report

News Bot Oct 18, 2016

  1. News Bot

    News Bot Chaos Immortal

    Reports in 2015 claimed that Apple formed a secret team to experiment with electric cars. The effort was Apple's first stab at the automotive business and followed Google and others as technology companies expanding into that market. Apple reportedly had several hundred people working on the project, which was codenamed "Titan." However, a new report today claims Apple is "drastically" scaling back its efforts in the automotive business, cutting a number of jobs and signaling a major change in direction.

    Sources told Bloomberg that Apple's automotive team stood at around 1,000 people before "hundreds" were reassigned, laid off, or quit on their own accord over the past few months.

    A rendering for Apple's new HQ

    Apple isn't giving up on cars altogether, however. According to the report, the company is now looking at building self-driving software that it could license to car-makers, or possibly use for its own cars, should it decide to make them someday.

    Executives at Apple reportedly gave the Titan team a deadline of late 2017 to show that its autonomous driving system is feasible; at that time, Apple will decide how to move forward.

    According to Bloomberg, the change in direction for Apple's car team came after "months of strategy disagreements, leadership flux, and supply chain challenges." One source told the site that the team has suffered from an "incredible failure of leadership." Apple does its car work inside of an unmarked office in Sunnyvale, California, which is not far from Apple HQ in Cupertino.

    At one time, an Apple-designed car was expected to debut in the early 2020s. Apple's ambition, according to the report, was to "revolutionize cars in the way the iPhone upended the mobile industry in 2007."

    Products coming out of Apple have transformed the technology and media landscape over the past decade. The iPod and iTunes spurred a shift towards digital distribution for music, while the iPhone made smartphones ubiquitous. Apple launched the Apple Watch, its first-ever wearable device, in April 2015.

    Apple declined to comment when approached by Bloomberg. Read the full story here.

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