Apple Lays Off Hundreds As Car Project Comes to a Close


apple lays off hundreds as car project comes to a close

Notoriously tight-lipped Apple never officially confirmed its autonomous car project, but the tech giant has been making an awful lot of moves for not having started work on one. Documents filed with California’s Employment and Development Department show that Apple recently laid off 600 employees in the state, coinciding with reports that it nixed its car project to focus on other products.

The company cited significant business challenges as the reason behind its layoffs. Earlier this year, reports surfaced that the company’s Special Projects Group would be disbanded because Apple couldn’t figure out production and how to integrate the car with its overall catalog of devices and services.

This all comes a decade after Apple car rumors started bubbling up, but the company was known to operate advanced and autonomous test vehicles in the San Francisco Bay Area. The project never really gained critical mass within the company, however, and the Special Projects Group underwent reorganizations and layoffs at least a few times over the years.

The car could have represented a significant opportunity for Apple, but the company has had plenty of external case studies from other new and legacy automakers that likely changed its mind. Affordability and manufacturing challenges abound for even the most experienced companies, as Ford and others have gingerly pulled back on the most aggressive investments and electrification plans. Autonomous vehicles are even more challenging, as GM’s Cruise has proved with much press over the last year.

[Image: TonyV3112 via Shutterstock]

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