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Goodbye, Apple Car – Apple lays off 200 employees

Apple’s not-so-secret plans to break into the automobile industry are being cut back, as the company lays off 200 employees from its autonomous vehicle team.

Bad news if you were holding out hope that the Apple Car – a vehicle rumored for many years – would one day be a thing, although we’ve known since 2017 that Apple was keener to develop self-driving technologies than to create an actual car of its own. This move, coming mere months after new Apple assigned new leadership roles to the so-called Project Titan, seems to signal that any research into building an Apple Car has come to an end.

A spokesperson for Apple confirmed the news to CNBC, but highlighted that as part of the restructuring some employees will be moved onto other teams to work on various machine learning projects.

“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple. 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.”

Related reading: forget the Apple Car and upgrade your existing ride instead