U.S. tech giant Apple Inc. has laid off more than 200 people from its secretive self-driving program Project Titan this week amid restructuring of a new leadership of the company's autonomous vehicle group, local media reported Thursday.
Other employees affected by the restructuring were moved to different jobs inside Apple, said a report of CNBC.
An Apple spokesperson confirmed the reshuffle, saying the employees assigned new roles will support the company's machine learning and other initiatives.
"We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple," said the spokesperson of the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.
"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.
Apple has been developing the mysterious Project Titan since 2014, but the company has seldom made any public comment about the progress of its self-driving project.
Earlier media reports said Apple had scaled back the project in 2016 and shifted focus to developing software for autonomous cars.
Apple poached Tesla engineering Vice President Doug Field last August to lead the firm's self-driving group alongside Bob Mansfield, a long-time Apple veteran.