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Apple trims autonomous vehicle team by more than 200 employees

By Shawn Knight · 6 replies
Jan 24, 2019
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  1. Apple this week dismissed more than 200 employees working on Project Titan, its secretive autonomous vehicle group, sources familiar with the matter tell CNBC.

    A spokesperson for Apple acknowledged the layoffs in a statement to the publication and said the displaced employees are being reassigned to projects in other parts of the company involving machine learning and other initiatives.

    “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,” the spokesperson added.

    Project Titan has been one of the tech industry’s worst kept secrets for years. It was initially believed that the group was developing an electric car under the banner, aiming to revolutionize the automotive industry as it had done with the iPod and the iPhone for the music and wireless industries, respectively.

    Apple reportedly narrowed the scope of the project a few years later, content with focusing exclusively on autonomous driving technology that could be implemented in other vehicles. Following a couple of high-profile hires last year, however, it’s anyone’s guess as to what Apple ultimately wants to get out of Project Titan.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 731   +563

    "it would be a shame if nothing ever came of it."

    This is the pride of all these autonomy manufacturers where they keep pushing these things on us. Even though they should know you can't program these things for the billions of daily variables, they don't care at our safety risk. When there is a needless death, they keep pushing on rather than at minimum go back to the drawing board. If they put any thought into this, they would know it won't work. There is an extremely long list of cons to these. This is unfortunate that it's all in the name of "technology". They are betting on the stupidity of the public. :(
  3. MasterMace

    MasterMace TS Booster Posts: 84   +42

    [sarcasm] they found nobody wanted to pay $40,000 for a Chevy Metro rebrand that also carried $80 oil changes and $500 batteries that could only be service at an Apple store. people found it difficult in testing to get a car into an apple store as many are located in malls. [/endsarcasm]
    MilwaukeeMike likes this.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,160   +1,413

    Humans are the reasons any one crashes. no one crashes because their wheels fall off or their engine stops working. People crash because they're not paying attention or drunk or asleep. A human being can't react faster than .2 seconds. that's just science because your brain can't make a decision and send a signal to your muscles any faster. .2 seconds is 200 ms. Do you know how much a computer can get done in 200ms?

    Autonomous cars will likely save more lives than making people wear seatbelts.
  5. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 467   +350

    Lack of sales on new phones every year and stock holders getting mad from greed I saw this coming and more projects getting postponed or cancelled is in the future with them.
  6. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 731   +563

    "will likely"... so, you really have no idea. If you take all the miles these things have gone (which don't count at all towards real-world scenarios), then multiply that by how many miles the real world drives, you are going to find these cars have killed a significantly higher percentage than humans have.

    Really... "no one crashes because their wheels fall off or their engine stops working"? lol. I guess you haven't been on the streets much or ever watched the news? People get in wrecks because tires go flat all the time. Tire shops forget to tighten lugnuts, so yes, wheels fall off. It happened to my dad years ago, although he knows how to compensate for it and did not crash. Will one of these computers know how? Uh... lol. I don't care how "fast" a computer is. If it isn't programmed for each of the billions of obstacles and situations that happen every day, then it's a fail.

    No I don't know how much a computer can get done. Do you? Your point? So, you think the computer can make the right decision every time? Do you know that computers crash constantly all day long? I presume you haven't used computers or electronics or spoke to anyone about them.

    There are laws against "not paying attention" and drunk or asleep. It's illegal. That is their own fault - not some guy behind a desk programming these who doesn't know how to drive himself. I work with programmers all day long.

    Still want these on the streets? Tell you what. How about we put you in the passenger seat of one of these. We will set it to go around a mountain curve and simulate a sensor failure. You game?
  7. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,000   +71

    I think a self-driving local bus would be a good start. preset route, low speed, short trip distance and importantly during aggressive traffic hours.

    if they can't make that, they better not make a car that can drive 100mph on its own.
    Right side bob likes this.

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