(Reuters) – Apple Inc said on Wednesday the planned layoffs of 190 workers in the self-driving car, program, Project Titan, changes that a rare window into the automotive technologies the company is pursuing.
FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. shop is seen on the day of the new iPhone 7 smartphone launch in Los Angeles, California, USA, 16 September 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
The tech company said in a file with the provincial regulators that the planned layoffs of people from eight different Santa Clara County facilities in the area are Cupertino, California, headquarters, April 16. A spokesman for the company confirmed that the decrease of the self-driving car program.
While the iPhone-maker has confirmed the interest in self-driving cars in a broad sense, it is never detailed exactly what technologies are being worked on and or the fitting of a complete vehicle, or the sensors, computer, and software to monitor.
The public documents filed with the supervisors providing a number of previously secret evidence.
Among those held were at least two dozen software engineers, including a machine learning engineer, and 40 hardware engineers, according to a letter sent by Apple in California employment supervisors earlier this month.
Some of the positions tip for physical products, for consumers: three product design engineers and a ergonomics engineer face layoffs. A machine shop manager, was among the reductions, though it is unclear how many operators reported to the supervisor and or the shop manufactures auto-components or smaller components for electronics and sensors.
The redundancies seem to be the first major shake-up of Project Titan, including Doug Field, who returned to Apple last year as Vice-President of Special Projects after a stint in electric car manufacturer Tesla Inc.
Apple is the auto-project on a “need-to-know” basis, with only approximately 5,000 of Apple’s 140,000 full-time employees, according to the court documents in a theft of trade secrets criminal case filed this year against an ex-employee of Apple.
About 1200 of them are “core” employees who are directly working on the development of the project,” according to the complaint, which was opened in January.
Despite the changes in personnel, the company seems to have stepped up to the test on California roads. In a file with the supervisors earlier this month, Apple said it had logged nearly 80,000 miles of testing in their own country in 2018, much worse than the less than 1,000 km had been logged the year before.
However, it was much less than that Alphabet Inc Waymo unit, which logged 1.2 million miles in California last year.
(The story corrects second paragraph to indicate that there were eight, not seven, the affected facilities in Santa Clara County, not the city)
Reporting by Stephen Nellis,; Editing by Dan Grebler and Rosalba O’brien