Apple Inc. has its sights on the EV space. The firm can keep mum about its “iCar” project all it wants, but the writing on the wall is clear. Breaking news suggests that Apple has a made a key hire in the last month towards its plan to challenge Tesla Motors in the EV space. The Daily Mail reported on Monday that Apple has hired a senior engineer from Elon Musk’s electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc . This confirms earlier rumors that Apple is making inroads into the EV business.
It was said that Jamie Carlson, left Tesla Motors for Apple to work in an unnamed position in a special projects group – Project Titan comes to mind. His LinkedIn profile says that jumped ship from Tesla to Apple this month.
While he was at Tesla, he worked on Elon Musk’s autopilot projects. He was the manager of the firm’s Autopilot update firmware, a task that may have prepared him for a new job at Apple.
Getting talent from Tesla Motors
In July, the Wall Street Journal said that veteran product design Vice President at Apple , Steve Zadesky is leading the “car” project. He was said to be on a mission to create a 1,000-person team and poach employees from different parts of the firm. Well, he is poaching talent, not only from different parts of the firm but also from other firms.
The hiring of Jamie Calson from Tesla Motors Inc follows a previous pattern in which Apple hires key talent from other firms to work it its secret project. Apple has hired at least 6 key people from other firms to work on its “Project Titan” in the last one year.
In the last fall, Apple hired Sanjai Massey, who has worked on creating automated vehicles at Ford. At about the same time, Apple hired Stefan Weber, an engineer who knows about video-based driver assist systems, Weber used to work at Bosch before he came Apple. Lech Szumilas, is another key hire. He was formerly a Delphi research scientist and he knows about computer vision and object detection.
In January, Apple employed Megan McClain, who used to work at Volkswagen in the automated driving unit. Vinay Palakkode is another key hire that came on board in January. Vinat is a graduate researcher at Carnegie Mellon University.
Apple cares about cars
A serious look at the key hiring that Apple has done in the last one-year shows that the firm wants people who know about automated driving systems. Hence, it is safe to assume that Apple might not be building a whole car since none of them has worked in the actual fabrication of a car.
However, it is evident that Apple is getting into the car space. The market should not be surprised if Apple builds an OS for automated cars or if it unveils a next gen navigation/mapping, internet connected and infotainment cars for other carmakers.
Whatever Tim Cook is up to, Elon Musk and Tesla Motors should watch out for new moves from Cupertino.