Apple Self-Driving Car Project, the Titan, is one of those projects that have been gathering less of public attention. They were not seen as making frequent updates on their research on their Self-Driving Technology to either the Social Media or general public.
Instead, the Apple Self-Driving Car Project has kept a relatively quiet space in the Autonomous Navigation Segment. However, it seems that they do have some plans after all.
According to a report in CNBC, Apple is said to have laid off around 200 of its employees from the Self-Driving Project. Some of these people will still be retained in the company but will move to other practice areas. Most of these people are expected to be moved to the Machine Learning Area.
This move from Apple could be interpreted in two ways. One, the company is planning a major re-structuring activity on the Titan Team in order to accelerate the research and development of the Self-Driving Technology. Two, it could be diverting its workforce to a broader practice area such as Machine Learning.
However, in the recent wake of events, it could be concluded that the Apple Self-Driving Car Project could be undergoing a set of strategic steps, first of which is a major restructuring activity to accelerate the Titan Activites. It was in the third quarter of 2018 that Apple pulled in Doug Field, VP Tesla Engineering to steer Titan. Hence, this major restructuring could be one of the first notable steps from the new leadership.
This step of a structure change does not come as a surprise since it is high time that Apple starts acting on its Self-Driving Technology. Companies such as Waymo and Tesla already have Self-Driving Vehicles on the road.
Waymo had also recently deployed its fleet Self-Driving Cars of for Commerical Ride Hailing. Waymo is also planning to set up manufacturing units in Michigan for the creation of Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles. Hence, the Self-Driving Segment is becoming pretty competitive.
It can also be concluded that Apple did have high expectations for its Self-Driving Cars. Steve Wozniak, the Co-Founder of Apple, while expressing his views on Self-Driving Cars mentioned that he would like to see a car with no steering wheel at all such that you could even send your kids off to school in one. He also touched upon the affordability of such cars saying that such a technology should be affordable and made available to all. Steve also added that, like the iPhone, Apple Car would be different and stand out from others.
Also, according to 9to5 Mac, as of September 2018, Apple had 70 Vehicles, all permitted by DMV to conduct test drives. This number, however, is lesser as compared to Waymo, Cruise and a few other Self-Driving Car Companies.
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