Apple Switches Tech Gears, New Shifts Include Machine Learning

While insisting that autonomous driving remains part of its broader mission, Apple is taking more than 200 engineers off the business.

After CNBC broke the news on Thursday, Apple was quick to confirm the shift.

“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies,” the tech titan stated. “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.”

Those other projects include machine learning, Apple said.

Dubbed Project Titan, Apple’s smart vehicle strategy has remained mostly a mystery since its founding sometime between 2014 and 2015.

Apple has never divulged the size of its Project Titan team, but it was reportedly in the range of 1,000 employees before this latest restructuring.

The move should not be interpreted as a loss of interest in automated driving technology, Apple pointed out on Thursday.

“We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever,” the company said.

This summer, Apple brought in Doug Field to co-lead its smart driving division with Bob Mansfield. A former Apple executive, most recently served as engineering vice president at Tesla.

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