News is that Apple might just be building a car. The international company recently hired Tesla’s top autonomous driving engineer, Jamie Carlson, to their top-secret Project Titan, reports The Daily Mail.
Carlson was, until very recently, an engineer at Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving car program. Prior to that, he worked for Gentex Corporation. Earlier this month, his LinkedIn profile showed a change to Apple, at an unnamed position.
Apple has added Carlson to their already top-notch recruitment this year, which has included automated driving expert Megan McClain of Volkswagen; Vinay Palakkode of Carnegie Mellon University, known for their research center for automated driving; Xianqiao Tong of Nvidia Corporation, developer of a software program for computer vision and driving assistance; and Paul Furgale of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
Last fall, they also hired former Ford engineer Sanjai Massey, Bosch engineer Stefan Weber, and former Delphi scientist Lech Szumilas. All these people hired by Apple are involved in the automated driving system development and research.
While there may be speculation that the company is looking to build an advanced car, a more realistic outlook would be an autonomous driving platform. Keep in mind that these new hires are experienced in developing the backend of an automated car, not actually building a car.
The idea of providing an automated driving platform backed by Apple’s expertise will appeal to car companies, as they will save a lot of money if they don’t have to worry about designing their own individual self-driving systems. An Apple platform would also be able to push its own Apple content right to drivers via their dashboard, making it a win-win for both car companies and Apple.
Although, if there is an Apple hybrid on four wheels in the future, there’s no doubt that it would look incredible.
Hanley, S., “Apple Hires Top Tesla Autonomous Driving Engineer,” Gas2 web site, August 24, 2015; http://goo.gl/gBPmYc.