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Tech giant Apple has cut over 200 employees from Project Titan, its autonomous vehicle program, according to industry reports.

Apple is known to have been working on an initiative to develop an electric self-driving vehicle for around four years, although the company has released few public details of its work.

Last August, ex-Tesla engineer and former Apple employee Doug Field was recruited to the autonomous car division, which is believed to have 70 cars approved for testing.

Responding to news reports, an Apple spokesperson acknowledged the layoffs and said the company still sees opportunity in the space: "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."