Apple launched Project Titan in September of 2014, according to reports.
One alternative the company is considering is building the technology to help make other cars autonomous through an underlying self-driving platform.
According to Bloomberg, Apple has shut down its not-so-secret auto project with several hundred employees being reassigned to other divisions and many others leaving the company. Although the option of building its own self-driving auto isn't entirely off the table, the company has reportedly refocused the project to develop an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to partner with existing carmakers.
The media outlet said Apple management told the vehicle team that they have until late 2017 to prove that the autonomous driving system they are developing is feasible. Apple may seek to partner with, rather than compete with, existing automakers. Sources close to the project say that hundreds of members of the vehicle team, which has about 1,000 members, have been reassigned, left, or made redundant, according to the report. These people say hundreds of employees working on Project Titan have either been let go or reassigned.
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They said that Project Titan is undergoing a "reboot". The change in direction reportedly arrived in the wake of strategy issues, leadership changes and problems with its supply chain.
And, should Apple's autonomous vehicle platform prove a success with partners, there's still the opportunity at a later date to integrate it into on-the-road hardware of its own.
According to a Bloomberg report, Zadesky's replacement Bob Mansfield ultimately decided that instead of trying to rival Tesla Motors, Apple should concentrate on autonomous software. Under the code-name of Project Titan, AAPL began assembling a team of automotive engineers tasked with building an electric Apple auto.
In an interview past year, Apple board member Mickey Drexler said that before his death in 2011 Steve Jobs had considered building a auto.