A report from CNBC this morning says Apple has cut over 200 employees from its top-secret “Project Titan” autonomous vehicle program. In a statement, however, the company says it still sees a “huge opportunity” in the space.

An Apple spokesperson acknowledged the changes, but attributed them to staff restructuring rather than layoffs.

News of Apple layoffs shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, as just days ago we reported on ‘hiring reductions‘ being planned by the company. Meanwhile, CEO Tim Cook was quick to defend the news by reassuring investors a division’s importance to Apple “isn’t measured by hiring rates“.

Besides division layoffs, Apple is also saying select staff have been moved to other sections within the company, such as machine learning.

The statement from Apple’s spokesperson via CNBC follows:

We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. 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.

We continue to believe there is a huge opportunity with autonomous systems, that Apple has unique capabilities to contribute, and that this is the most ambitious machine learning project ever

The report makes reminder of previous staff cuts from Apple in the division back in 2016, as the company has remained continually silent on the project in recent months. Further, Cook has been more than prominent in touting health-related features as the number one priority for Apple, going so far to say it will be the company’s “greatest contribution to mankind“.

Conversely, hiring rates within Apple for ‘health’ related careers have increased 400% over the past two years.

How do you feel about these layoffs within the self-driving car division? Let us know in the comments section down below!

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