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Apple’s self-driving car program just took a hard right

Apple’s self-driving car program just took a hard right
[Photo: Flickr user Austin Community College]

That’s because the Cupertino company just laid off more than 200 employees who were working on the project, CNBC reports. In addition to the layoffs, it also appears that a number of additional employees working in Apple’s car program, known as Project Titan, have been reassigned to other departments in the company.

CNBC says Apple acknowledged the layoffs in an email and said this about the future of Apple’s autonomous car initiatives:

“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple. We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever.”

So where does Apple’s car program go from here? No one, probably not even Apple, knows for sure. Any “Apple Car” products are probably at least five years down the road, and it’s likely that any such offerings will take the form of software driving systems instead of a physical “iCar.”

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