200 Apple staff cut from autonomous car project

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Apple sales
// 200 staff have been cut or redeployed from Apple’s driverless car development project
// This represents a fifth of the staff working on “Project Titan”
// Comes amid pressure for Apple to release a new breakthrough tech as iPhone sales falter

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Two-hundred Apple staff working on the tech giant’s autonomous car development dubbed “Project Titan” have been let off or redeployed.

According to CNBC, 1000 staff have been working on Project Titan since it launched almost five years ago, meaning a fifth of its workforce has been cut.

The project represents one of the company’s largest research and design (R&D) ventures, with its R&D budget more than doubling to $14.2 billion since 2014.

This represents a concerted effort by Apple to find its next breakthrough technology to match the iPhone.

Earlier this month, Apple issued a rare profit warning, stating its revenues for the final quarter to come around 10 per cent lower than expected due to slowing iPhone sales, piling on the pressure to launch fresh and market leading products.

Project Titan has already had a tumultuous development. Its original director Steve Zadesky, known for heading up the teams who developed the iPod and iPhone, was replaced in 2016.

He was succeeded by company veteran Bob Mansfield, who diverted the focus away from creating a physical car and focused on developing software for the autonomous systems required to build self-driving cars, leading many employees to leave the project.

Since then Doug Field, who led the manufacturing of the Model 3 at Tesla, has taken over and the focus is understood to have returned to creating an entire vehicle.

“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,” Apple said.

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