Here’s What Apple Is Doing With Self Driving Cars

Published on March 4, 2019

With Tesla dominating the headlines on the self driving car front in recent years, Apple has been able to quietly develop its own version of the technology at its California campus. “Project Titan” was highly secretive from its start in 2014. Apple employed nearly 1,000 people for the project and managed to not release any information on it—until now. The company reportedly laid off many employees that were working on the project back in 2016. Could this mean that Apple has scrapped the idea altogether?

It’s understandable why self driving cars would be a risky investment right now. Last week, a Tesla Model 3 crashed into a semi-truck on a freeway, killing the driver. The vehicle’s Autopilot feature is being investigated as the cause of the accident. This wouldn’t be the first time a self driving car has gone haywire. Tesla’s Autopilot feature has a deadly history of being the cause of several car accidents in the past. The technology isn’t perfected yet, which has made it the subject of criticism throughout the years.

New Layoffs

Apple confirmed to Reuters last week that it plans to layoff as many as 190 more employees working in its self-driving car program by April of this year. The company hasn’t confirmed what it previously planned to do with self-driving cars. Reuters speculates that the company could have been producing its own software and hardware for its very own device. Based on what types of positions were laid off, there is evidence to show this is true.

Don’t think you can simply ask your roommate that works at the Genius bar about what Apple is doing with Project Titan. The company is highly secretive about the project. Only employees that “need to know” about the self driving cars, do. There have been reports that the company was simply working on a self-driving software. Perhaps this could be the next race in tech, or maybe Apple was simply looking for a better answer to Tesla’s product.

Other Apple Positions

Despite major scaling back in the self-driving car front, Apple is doing well. The company officially announced its plans to create a massive new campus in Austin, Texas earlier this year. An apple keynote event scheduled for later this month has teased new products like a new iPad and updates to AirPods. While it’s not likely that Apple is going to announce a self-driving car in a couple of weeks, chances are high you’ll be able to get your hands on a pair of black AirPods before the summer arrives.

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Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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