The big picture: The history of Project Titan has more twists and turns than a country road. The company has no doubt invested a fortune into the project at this point; it would be a shame if nothing ever came of it.

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.