Apple has reportedly laid off a load of the experts working on its fabled car project, making it unlikely we’ll see a vehicle or automotive tech with its branding anytime soon.
The decision will reportedly affect 38 engineering program managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers and 22 software engineers from Apple’s Car division, codenamed “Project Titan” and take effect on April 16 2019.
Apple had not responded to Trusted Reviews request for confirmation at the time of publishing.
The company is believed to have set up the car division in 2014 with the original intention to release a full-fat Apple Car. It reportedly later tweaked the division to focus on creating the foundation for a fully autonomous, self-driving car. None of this has ever officially been confirmed.
The layoffs indicate Apple may be taking yet another step away from the market if any of these claims are true.
This news is the latest in long line of speed bumps slowing down autonomous car development. There has been an ongoing debate about the legality and ethics around self driving car crashes across the globe. Most recently researchers from MIT released a paper questioning what decisions a self driving car should make when picking between the worst of two evils.
The Moral Machine Experiment attempted to form a consensus on whose lives self driving cars should prioritise during crashes by consulting 2 million users in more than 200 countries using an online game.
The cars themselves have also had more fender benders than their creators would like. Rumours broke that a self-driving Lexus using Apple tech and a Nissan Leaf crashed into one another in September 2018.
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