Apple self-driving car project bites the dust?

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Apple’s plans to create its own car may have already hit the skids.

TECHNOPHILES awaiting the long-rumoured Apple self-driving car might want to pop their Airpods into their ears. 

In the same week the tech giant launched its new iPhone 7, momentum is gathering in the US rumour mill that Apple will develop self-driving technology rather than build an actual autonomous electric vehicle.

The New York Times has reported that Apple has cut dozens of staff from its so-called Project Titan. The newspaper cites three sources all briefed on the move, and the story follows a Bloomberg article in July that suggested the company was changing strategy. 

Sources had told the news agency that Apple had been struggling internally to answer questions about what it could bring to a self-driving vehicle that other car makers couldn’t. 

Apple’s legendary secrecy means there has actually been no official confirmation the company was building a car. 

In the past two years, however, Apple has fuelled speculation it was planning to roll out its own car by 2020 after busily recruiting experts from the automotive and battery technology industries. 

Hires also included two Ford engineers with significant experience in building aluminium-bodied vehicles, including the latest Ford F-150 ute. 

Earlier this year, the original head of the secret project, Steven Zadesky, left Apple for personal reasons. He was reportedly replaced by Apple veteran Bob Mansfield, who was a key executive behind signature products such as the iMac, iPad and MacBook Air. 

Apple’s quest for diversified products would be particularly understandable currently, considering sales of its key product, the iPhone, have slowed in 2016.

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