A few years ago, Apple Inc.'s celebrity chiefs, including the late Steve Jobs, could get pretty snarky when discussing the auto industry. Apple was making it look easy after the iPhone debuted in 2007 -- just as the Detroit automakers were stumbling badly.
You could cut the condescension in Cupertino with a knife.
It's hard to tell, given Apple's secretive ways, but the tech giant's own efforts in the auto business don't appear to be going well these days.
Apple has laid off "dozens" of employees working on its autonomous driving project, The New York Times reported. The report cited three unnamed sources familiar with the project, who said the company has shut down parts of the initiative in an attempt to refocus its strategy. Apple did not respond to an inquiry from Automotive News.
Two years ago, longtime Apple employee and former Ford Motor Co. engineer Steven Zadesky was tapped to lead the Apple car project -- code-named Titan. Zadesky left the company in January for personal reasons and was replaced by Bob Mansfield, who had helped develop products such as the MacBook Air and the iPad.
But crafting a car may have proved more complicated than a laptop or tablet. Since Mansfield took over, the project has shifted to developing the technology for autonomous driving from manufacturing a whole vehicle, Bloomberg has reported.