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Apple is already testing self-driving cars code-named Titan

The latest rumor surrounding Apple's fabled Project Titan car comes from the New York Times, which reports "dozens" of layoffs as parts of the initiative have been shut down. This follows an earlier Bloomberg report that under new leadership by Bob Mansfield, the focus has changed from building an entire car, to focusing on developing self-driving car tech.

The testing of autonomous vehicle software is indicative of a recent "reboot" in strategy for Apple, which is said to be moving away from building its own electric car to focus on developing self-driving software.

According to the NYT, the layoffs were described internally as being part of a reboot, while Apple figures out what it can bring to a self-driving car that will stick out (probably not an AUX cable).

Over the last couple of years, reports have surfaced of Apple poaching employees from other companies including Tesla and the makers of EV batteries, so new directives might leave some of them out of the plan. Still, the company is said to have fully autonomous vehicles in testing, however, like similar projects from Google and Uber, the question is when we'll see them on the road. 

Apple Hires BlackBerry Talent With Car Project Turning to Self-Driving Software - Bloomberg first reported the change in strategy back in July, stressing the mounting issues Apple’s Titan team has grappled with over the last 18 months as the division ballooned to more than 1,000 employees. Apple Inc. has hired the former head of BlackBerry Ltd.’s automotive software division as new leadership at the iPhone-maker’s car team places increased emphasis on developing self-driving technology, according to people familiar with the project.

Dan Dodge, the founder and former chief executive officer of QNX, the operating system developer that BlackBerry acquired in 2010, joined Apple earlier this year, the people said. He is part of a team headed by Bob Mansfield, who, since taking over leadership of the cars initiative -- dubbed Project Titan -- has heralded a shift in strategy, according to a person familiar with the plan.

The shift toward software is part of a new plan from longtime Apple executive Bob Mansfield. He came out of retirement to lead the Titan division after former project head Steven Zadesky left the company earlier this year. Mansfield’s refined focus has led to a number of job cuts, The New York Times reports, and it illustrates the difficulties of initially trying to develop an electric car and autonomous software simultaneously.

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