Apple has dismissed just over 200 employees this week from its autonomous vehicle group.This week’s dismissals from the group were seen internally as restructuring under the relatively new leadership.Meanwhile, Apple executives have remained mum in recent months on the company’s car prospects, which appear to have been scaled back from the initial rumored vehicle to a focus on software. In 2016, Apple laid off employees from the same group, shifting its strategy.
An Apple spokesperson acknowledged the lay-offs and said the company still sees opportunity in the space:
“We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever,” they added.
Apple’s Ceo Tim Cook told CNBC “I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, “What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?” it will be about health.”
Fully self-driving cars remain experimental, even for major players in the field such as Waymo, Cruise and Tesla.Venture investors and strategic investors from the traditional automotive world have poured billions into start-ups developing self-driving vehicles including: Zoox, Pony.AI, Aurora, May Mobility, Embark and others.