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Apple taps more drivers to test self-driving cars in California

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Apple is continuing efforts to advance internal self-driving car technology, with the iPhone maker recently registering more drivers to pilot technology test beds on California roads. In early August, Apple's autonomous vehicle program consisted of 69 test vehicles and 92 pilots, according to filings with California's Department of Motor Vehicles. The number of testbeds has not increased as of Sept. 10, but Apple is now permitted to field 114 registered drivers. As noted by macReports, the increase does not match a peak of 154 driver permits reached in October 2020. It does appear, however, that the tech giant is slowly rebuilding its ranks after nearly halving the number of licensed drivers attached to the program earlier this year.


Apple accelerates work on car as it aims for fully autonomous vehicle

The Japan Times

Apple Inc. is pushing to accelerate development of its electric car and is refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to solve a technical challenge that has bedeviled the auto industry. For the past several years, Apple's car team had explored two simultaneous paths: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration -- similar to most current cars from Tesla Inc. -- or a version with full self-driving ability that doesn't require human intervention. Under the effort's new leader -- Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch -- engineers are now concentrating on the second option. Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system in the first version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. It's just the latest shift for the car effort, known as the Special Projects Group or "Project Titan," which has endured strategy changes and executive turnover since starting around 2014.


Apple accelerates work on car, aims for fully autonomous vehicle

Al Jazeera

Apple Inc. is pushing to accelerate development of its electric car and is refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to solve a technical challenge that has bedeviled the auto industry. For the past several years, Apple's car team had explored two simultaneous paths: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration -- similar to most current cars from Tesla Inc. -- or a version with full self-driving ability that doesn't require human intervention. Under the effort's new leader -- Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch -- engineers are now concentrating on the second option. Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system in the first version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. It's just the latest shift for the car effort, known as the Special Projects Group or "Project Titan," which has endured strategy changes and executive turnover since starting around 2014.


Apple confirms self-driving car layoffs, says it mostly fired engineers

Mashable

Apple has laid off 190 employees working on the company's self-driving car project, codenamed Project Titan. The layoffs were first reported on in January, but now we know that most of the affected employees are engineers. Additional details about the dismissals were unearthed in Apple's letter to the California Employment Development Department, first reported on by the San Francisco Chronicle. SEE ALSO: Even Apple's self-driving car safety report is super secretive According to the letter, Apple laid off 38 engineering program managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers and 22 software engineers, taking effect on April 16. The news comes after a not-so-great quarter for Apple, in which the company's iPhone revenue fell 15 percent year-over-year.


Apple lays off 200 employees working on self-driving cars

Engadget

Apple's secretive self-driving car division, codenamed Project Titan, has undergone a major restructuring process under new leadership. Unfortunately, that entails dismissing over 200 employees this week, according to CNBC. An Apple spokesperson has confirmed the layoffs to the publication and also revealed that some employees previously under Titan have been transferred to other divisions. "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."