So much for Apple’s foray into the world of self-driving cars. The tech giant best known for making iPhones and other devices appears to be pushing the pause button on a plan to design an autonomous vehicle.
Apple recently laid off some 200 employees from Project Titan, its autonomous vehicles division. The company billed the move as a form of restructuring, but observers say it means Apple is likely shelving the self-driving project. The company detailed the layoffs in a letter to the California Employment Development Department.
The highly secretive Project Titan was launched in 2014, led by longtime Apple employee Bob Mansfield. The company in August hired former Tesla developer Doug Field to join the team. Apple obtained a permit to road test autonomous vehicles in 2017. The company performed nearly 80,000 miles of road testing over the following year, far less than competitors like Waymo and Cruise, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The layoffs come on the heels of slipping sales for Apple’s signature product, the iPhone. The company said in January that it was expecting lower sales, largely as a result of slowing demand in China.
“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple,” a company spokesperson told CNBC. “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.”
Watch Out for Lemons
Despite the news out of Apple, self-driving cars are eventually coming to a road near you. While these vehicles may wind up making transportation safer and easier, autonomous vehicles come with many of the same risks as the old fashioned kind. Unfortunately, many cars leave the factory with significant defects that can be difficult to detect and fix.
That’s where the California lemon law comes in. The state law requires a carmaker to fix defects while the vehicle is under warranty. If the manufacturer isn’t able to adequately repair the vehicle, it’s obligated to replace the car or reimburse the owner for the purchase price and other related costs. It’s ultimately the owner’s (or lessor’s) decision whether to take a new car or get his or her money back.
Talk With an Experienced California Lemon Law Attorney
If you’re a California car owner with a lemon, you have the power to enforce your rights under the state lemon law. It’s important to consult a seasoned lawyer to consider those rights and your options.
The California lemon law attorneys at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. We understand the significant stress that can come with haggling with car dealers and manufacturers. We give clients the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’re working aggressively to get them the compensation they deserve.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.