Hundreds of employees of Apple‘s secret automotive project, dubbed Project Titan, have reportedly been laid off, reassigned, or left of their own accord in recent months, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
The tech giant is reportedly scaling back plans to build a car, and the team responsible for the project has been given until late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving automotive system they have been working on.
The automotive project has reportedly suffered a change in management, and is now apparently refocusing its efforts towards creating an autonomous driving software rather than developing its own vehicle entirely.
The change in strategy comes after months of internal issues, including strategy disagreements, leadership change, and supply chain challenges.
Apple isn’t the only tech company shifting efforts towards the automotive industry. Alphabet Inc.’s Google is also attempting to make the move towards automotive technology, though it too has seen difficulties in the sector and has sought partners in its endeavour.
Apart from the companies themselves, investors are wary of the projects as well. Technology investors are generally used to seeing wide profit margins, while those of automakers rarely ascend past the ten percent margin.
“For a quality Apple-branded car they could probably get a healthy margin,” said Eric Paul Dennis, an analyst at the Centre for Automotive Research. “They probably weren’t willing to compromise on quality issues” as it could harm the reputation of their other consumer products, Dennis added.
Was anyone excited to see what came of Project Titan? Could it all have just been a pipe dream?