Rumors of an ‘Apple Car’ dominated the internet early this year. The Wall Street Journal reported in February that Apple CEO Tim Cook had assigned several hundred employees to develop, design, and build an Apple-branded electric car. The project, codenamed ‘Titan’, now employs almost 50 former Tesla employees, and former Ford engineer Steve Zadesky and former CEO of the Mercedes Benz Research and Development team Johann Jungwirth now call Apple home. Although talk of the ‘Apple Car’ has died down a bit, Reuters recently reported that former Tesla engineer Jamie Carlson has recently jumped ship to Apple, likely to work on the Titan project.
Carlson, a former senior engineer for the electric car manufacturer, worked extensively on Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving car program. Reuters reported that Carlson’s LinkedIn profile revealed that he recently left Tesla for an “unnamed position” in a “special projects group”. The report also claims that “at least six others with experience developing self-driving technology and systems have joined Apple,” as well. The seven join other notable recently hired employees, such as Paul Furgale, former deputy director of the Autonomous Systems Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and Sanjai Massey, “an engineer with experience in developing connected and automated vehicles at Ford.”
Some Envision the Apple Car to Look a Bit More Futuristic
While it’s still unclear what Apple plans to do with this team of experienced auto engineers, it seems unlikely that such a prestigious group would be assembled to bolster CarPlay technology. No one is quite sure what ‘Project Titan’ is – whether it’s an Apple developed vehicle or simply an autonomous driving platform that could be sold to other automakers – it’s certain to be impressive.