Apple will lay off 190 employees who work in its Santa Clara and Sunnyvale self-driving vehicle division. The company confirmed the layoffs in a letter to the California Employment Development Department (via the San Francisco Chronicle).
The affected employees include 38 engineering program managers, 33 hardware engineers, 31 product design engineers, and 22 software engineers. Their last day will be April 16.
Apple confirmed last month that over 200 employees would be removed from its autonomous vehicle team, At the time, the company said some employees would be laid off, while others would be relocated to other divisions within the company. An Apple spokesperson said it was part of Apple’s restructuring to focus on “key areas for 2019.”
“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.”
“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.”
Apple began work on self-driving vehicles back in 2014. Rumors at the time suggested the Cupertino firm would be developing a full-blown electric vehicle. However, since then, leadership issues and other internal strife are said to have led the firm to shift its focus to an autonomous driving system.