Apple cuts jobs after dropping self-driving car plans

  • Apple has cut over 600 jobs following reports of abandoning its self-driving car project, mainly from its California site.
  • The layoffs were notified to the state’s employment department on March 28, with Apple yet to provide comment.
  • This move contrasts Apple’s history of avoiding mass layoffs, but analysts suggest it signals a strategic shift towards emerging sectors like AI.

Apple has recently implemented workforce reductions exceeding 600 roles following the purported discontinuation of its self-driving car initiatives.

The predominant portion of these reductions originates from the locale engaged in the now-abandoned self-driving car venture in California, as per reports from Bloomberg. On March 28, the state’s employment department received notification of forthcoming layoffs affecting 614 employees, scheduled for May. Apple has been contacted for official commentary on the matter.

Also read: Apple working on a contextual AI language model called ReALM

Also read: Apple quits its decade-long EVs development project

Layoffs would be resorted to only as a last recourse

Notably, the technology behemoth has historically steered clear of widespread workforce reductions, diverging from the actions of numerous other firms that have downsized significantly since the onset of the pandemic. In a CNBC interview last May, Apple CEO Tim Cook underscored that layoffs would be resorted to only as a last recourse. Despite the prevailing trend of industry-wide job cuts, Apple has downsized its workforce to a notably lesser extent than its counterparts. GlobalData estimates Apple’s global workforce to approximate 161,000 employees.

While Apple stands as the world’s most valuable company, industry analyst Paolo Pescatore of PP Foresight stresses that “no one is immune to job cuts.” Pescatore attributes the reductions not to efficiency concerns but rather suggests they signal a strategic realignment towards burgeoning sectors like AI.

The cessation of Apple’s self-driving car endeavour surfaced in February

Reports indicating the cessation of Apple’s multi-billion-dollar self-driving car endeavour surfaced in February, although the company has refrained from publicly acknowledging its existence. Allegedly, Apple had invested substantially in the development of a fully autonomous vehicle sans traditional steering mechanisms, yet the project was deemed years away from fruition.

Similarly, other industry players such as Ford and General Motors have tempered their pursuits in autonomous vehicle research due to escalating costs. It has been purported that Apple intends to redirect a significant portion of its 2,000-member electric car team to AI-related endeavours. Additionally, filings from the California jobs report disclosed that in January, Apple released 121 employees from its San Diego office, reportedly reallocating them to Austin, Texas, where AI-focused operations are concentrated, as reported by Bloomberg.


Chloe Chen

Chloe Chen is a junior writer at BTW Media. She graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and had various working experiences in the finance and fintech industry. Send tips to

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