Apple fires 190 employees from the self-driving car project

San Francisco: Apple has reportedly confirmed it is firing 190 employees from its ambitious self-driving car project called Titan.

According to a report in San Francisco Chronicle late Wednesday, the Cupertino-based company has laid off mostly engineers, including 38 engineering programme managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers and 22 software engineers.

The layoffs in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale would take effect from April 16, according to an Apple filing with the California Employment Development Department.

CNBC reported in January that layoffs were occurring in Apple’s self-driving car division. Apple previously cut hundreds of jobs in the self-driving car division in 2016.

In August 2018, Tesla’s former engineering Vice President Doug Field was appointed by Apple to lead team Titan.

The fleet of Apple’s self-driving programmes is made up of 66 Lexus RX450h SUVs, each of which is fitted with huge racks of LIDAR and radar sensors as well as cameras, roaming around the San Francisco Bay Area to perfect the sensors, computer systems and software required for a vehicle to safely drive itself, AppleInsider reported.

The iPhone-maker is also said to be applying some of the Titan-technology into a self-driving shuttle program titled “Palo Alto to Infinite Loop” or “PAIL” — intended to ferry Apple employees between the Bay Area campuses, using specially modified Volkswagen vans, the report added.

In May 2018, with 55 self-driving cars and 83 drivers, Apple touched the second highest number of self-driving cars in California after General Motor’s Cruise, which had 104 vehicles.

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