Over the past few years, Apple has been building a team to develop autonomous driving technology. The goals of the team have been ever-shifting, as have the members of said team. Originally, the company had planned to develop and launch their own Apple-branded car. The team has had cars on the roads around their California headquarters with a very unique sensor array on the roof. However, these cars are not Apple designed but are instead merely test vehicles for the technology being developed within Titan.
Despite the original intentions, the overall plan for Titan has changed more than once. In 2016, it was revealed that the company had scrapped its plans to build their own car and had shifted the focus of Titan into building technology to support the self-driving cars of others. They would design the sensor array and software and license it to car manufacturers to enhance their own vehicle plans. In 2018, however, Apple brought back a former executive, Doug Field, who had left for Tesla for a few years. Field was reintroduced to Apple to lead Project Titan.
While rumors have swirled that Titan may be back to its original plans under the former Tesla helm, there has been no confirmation of these plans. This week, Field made a big move, shifting around 200 employees out of the Titan project and into other parts of the company. An Apple spokesperson said,
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.
It is not unusual for a company like Apple to move employees around between various initiatives based on their skill set. It is unusual to move between 5% and 10% of an initiative's workforce at once unless there is a major change in direction in the works. After a data breach in 2018, Apple acknowledged that around 2,700 employees have direct access to the project, and around 5,000 employees have intermittent access.