Apple re-signs driverless car development expert | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Apple re-signs driverless car development expert

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Apple have hired a developer who’s previously been working at Tesla, prompting speculation the company’s driverless car ambitions may be greater than recently thought.

Apple is involved in a secret Project Titan, but exactly how that will take shape has been questioned recently, with some people suggesting that they will be working on components and software for other manufacturers rather than making their own vehicle.

Apple watcher, the blogger John Gruber, reports that Doug Field, who left Tesla in May after overseeing Model 3 production — has returned to Apple to work on the Titan Group, having previously worked at the company on Mac hardware engineering.

Gruber says his experience over the last few years as senior VP of engineering at the world’s premier electric carmaker makes him “a seemingly perfect fit for Titan”.

“I wouldn’t read too much into any single hire, and the employee exchange program between Apple and Tesla continues to flow in both directions,” he blogs.  “But I think it’s an interesting hire, primarily because it suggests to me that Apple still has an interest in making actual vehicles, despite reports that the company has scaled back the project to merely make autonomous systems for inclusion in vehicles made by other companies. That rumour never really made sense to me anyway — Apple’s modus operandi has always been to make the whole widget. Apple makes products, not components. Field returning to Apple also suggests to me that… the Titan project has regained its footing.”


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