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September 12, 2016

Electric car plans abandoned by Apple according to reports

Tech giant reportedly axed several dozen jobs in the project.

By CBR Staff Writer

Technology giant Apple has reportedly closed “some elements” of its plans to develop an electric self-driving car.

The smartphone maker has also removed several dozen employees working its self-driving car project, a person familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The changes were brought by Bob Mansfield, a veteran Apple executive who took over its secretive project, code-named Project Titan, in July.

However, Project Titan’s overall staff continues to be “essentially the same”, the person told the publication.

Though Apple has never disclosed the details of its self-driving car project publicly, people familiar with the matter have said in the past that the company employed hundreds of people including software and automotive experts, as well as autonomous-driving technology engineers, for the project.

However, the project started facing several problems earlier the year, with the exit of its head Steve Zadesky from the company, citing personal reasons.

Apple’s plans to develop a car, disclosed in early 2015, are aimed at competing with several companies eyeing to “reinvent the automobile,” the publication said.

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While Alphabet’s Google has been experimenting with self-driving cars for years, Tesla Motors is already rolled a feature called Autopilot that uses cameras, radar and sensors “to steer the vehicle and adjust its speed.”

On the other hand, traditional automobile companies such as General Motors, Ford Motor and BMW are also currently working on their driverless car projects.

Apple’s moves to develop self-driving car raised concerns among the industry players as it might attain a dominant position as it did in handset market.

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk complained in early 2015 that Apply was attempting to get his automotive staff on its board.

 

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