Apple started Project Titan with a great fanfare but rapidly found out that the car industry was not really interested in being told what to do by a tech company.
It pushed its prototype tech to car makers and informed them that they would have to give Apple most of their profits, much as they did with the music and banking industry and was stunned when it was told to “go forth and multiply”.
Jobs' Mob laid off staff, but the Tame Apple Press continued to insist that their favourite company must be building a self-driving car. After all, that is the next big thing, so Apple must be at the cutting edge of it, right?
This week the tech firm said in a filing with state regulators that it planned to lay off people from eight different Santa Clara County facilities near its Cupertino, California, headquarters, as of April 16. A company spokesman confirmed that the reduction was from the self-driving car programme.
While the iPhone maker has acknowledged its interest in self-driving cars in broad terms, it has never detailed precisely which technologies it is working on and whether it seeks to build a whole vehicle or the sensors, computer system and software to control one.
Among those laid off were at least two dozen software engineers, including a machine learning engineer, and 40 hardware engineers, according to a letter sent by Apple to California employment regulators earlier this month.
Some of the positions hint at physical products for consumers: three product design engineers and an ergonomics engineer face layoffs. A machine shop supervisor was among the reductions, though it is unclear how many machinists reported to the supervisor and whether the shop fabricates automotive parts or smaller parts for electronics and sensors.
Still, the Tame Apple Press is insisting that an Apple care is going to happen.
“Despite the headcount changes, the company appears to have ramped up its testing on California roads. In a filing with regulators earlier this month, Apple said it had logged nearly 80,000 miles of testing in its home state in 2018, far surpassing the less than 1,000 miles it had logged the year before”, enthused Reuters.
Of course, it had to admit that Google’s Waymo unit logged 1.2 million miles in California last year.