Last week, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook elaborated on the company’s plans for the automotive sector. “We’re focusing on autonomous systems. It’s a core technology that we view as very important,” Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg, adding that it is “probably one of the most difficult AI projects to work on.”

The Palo Alto, California-based tech giant had initial plans to build its own car, though that was eventually shelved in favour of the aforementioned shifting of focus towards autonomous technologies. Apple drastically scaled back Project Titan, where hundreds out of the 1,000-strong car team were either reassigned, let go or had voluntarily left the company in the months leading up to October last year.

Having started in 2014, Project Titan was the seedling of Apple’s ambition to make an impact on the automotive market in the same way it did for mobile phones when it introduced the iPhone in 2007. However towards the end of 2015, progress was hindered by infighting for the project’s direction.

Long-time Apple man and original iPad developer Bob Mansfield took the reins for the programme in 2016, and a month later announced to Project Titan staff the shift in strategy, thus explaining to them that Apple needed to go from building a Tesla competitor to underlying systems for an autonomous platform; this led to the mass departure of staff.

Cook was reluctant to disclose whether or not Apple will manufacture its own car in the end. “We’ll see where it takes us. We’re not really saying from a product point of view what we will do,” the tech giant’s CEO said. For now, it appears that Apple will forego development of a full-fledged automobile in favour of the aforementioned autonomous systems.