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As Apple gears up to release a fully autonomous vehicle, it is continuing to lose key people who are working on the project, reports Bloomberg. Over the last several weeks, three engineers have departed the company.

Apple-car-wheel-icon-feature-yellow.jpg

Apple's chief engineer for radar systems, Eric Rogers, left for Joby Aviation, a company working on electric aerial ridesharing. Alex Clarabut, an engineering manager for the battery team, and Stephen Spiteri, a hardware engineering manager, both joined Archer Aviation, a company that is developing an air taxi.

Earlier this month, Apple Car engineering director Michael Schwekutsch left Apple for Archer Aviation as well, and back in September, Apple Car project lead Doug Field left Apple for Ford after three years of heading up Apple Car development.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has lost six members of the project's management team in 2021 alone, but it has also brought on important new hires like Ulrich Kranz, former CEO of self-driving startup Canoo, and CJ Moore, who worked at Tesla and has expertise in self-driving software.

Apple's work on an autonomous vehicle has been plagued by managerial shifts, changes in focus, and hiring issues almost since it began. With Field's departure, Apple brought on Apple Watch chief Kevin Lynch to work on the Apple Car, and he is working alongside AI chief John Giannandrea.

Under Lynch's leadership, the Apple Car project is moving forward with the ambitious aim of producing an autonomous electric vehicle that does not require human intervention, which no other car manufacturer has been able to achieve.

Apple is hoping to release a self-driving car by 2025, but the timeline may ultimately prove to be too aggressive.

Article Link: Apple Car Project Loses Three Key Engineers
 

madman365

macrumors member
Mar 17, 2008
31
53
SO, is there any info WHY!? Is the project not working? Not good? Is it internal difficulty working in Apple? The why? I love this site. But so many times the stories are.... "A bomb went off", but no where, why, and what the actual fallout may be. Just sayin'. Three people leaving a company is not news. The WHY is the news.
 
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AppliedVisual

macrumors 6502a
Sep 28, 2006
786
217
These stupid headlines and articles about engineers leaving Apple (or most any other company) are kinda pointless and are just garbage analytics. Several of these popping up about chip designers and engineers leaving before the first Apple Silicon chips launched and then again before the new MacBook Pros. And yet here we are, Apple's M1 series chips, especially M1 Pro and Max, are absolutely phenomenal. Not enough credit being given to all the engineers who are still onboard working on such things.
 

ACHD

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2015
97
78
SO, is there any info WHY!? Is the project not working? Not good? Is it internal difficulty working in Apple? The why? I love this site. But so many times the stories are.... "A bomb went off", but no where, why, and what the actual fallout may be. Just sayin'. Three people leaving a company is not news. The WHY is the news.
You dont get high profile engineers and other lower ranking engineers leaving a company ENTIRELY if everything was going smooth. Very likely they feel the project is dead in the water or the company is choosing to stop work at a higher level and some signs were given and people were leaving.

High profile engineers only leave over treatment, culture, internal disputes, project pending cancelation, or project is "dead in the water" but alive on paper.
 

beerseagulls

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2021
500
295
people have been talking about flying cars since I was a kid...(back when color TV was not that common yet) I'm still waiting.

my grandfather bought me a ticket to the moon on Pan Am. The airline's been gone for 30 years and I'm sure flights to the moon won't happen in my lifetime.

now just add Apple Car to the list of thing that probably will never happen. :(
 

Kierkegaarden

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2018
1,177
1,882
USA
This probably amounts to a small percentage of engineers working on the project. A project of this scale doesn’t rely on individuals such as these — because leaving for other companies is normal and expected (esp in SV).

It would be funny to read about an engineer leaving the project to manage a Kroger store in Steubenville, Ohio. 🤪
 

AppliedVisual

macrumors 6502a
Sep 28, 2006
786
217
High profile engineers only leave over treatment, culture, internal disputes, project pending cancelation, or project is "dead in the water" but alive on paper.
Or they leave due to a multitude of other reasons, both personal and professional, that you did not list. This news is not news. In fact it's probably a subtle smear from a short sell position since Apple stock has been kicking butt this week. Remember, Apple's "top chip designer" left the company, as the headlines said, several months before the first Apple Silicon products launched and people were freaking out. It caused a momentary slump in stock price. Then look what happened. File this one under NBGAF.
 

syklee26

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2005
588
1,265
I am telling you, Apple needs to slim down Project Titan team and make efforts to block outside-the-team influence as much as possible. This is so typical of a huge project team in large corporation; all theses freeriders want a piece of the fruit and exert influence on the team, and the project itself becomes a political power struggle.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
5,612
15,795
Temecula, CA
3 engineers?? That sounds like below standard turnover rate, but, it’s Apple for one and second, it’s the Apple CAR, OMG.
Apple is doomed.
Who knows why, sometimes employees get laid off, eg for performance reasons??? Not suggesting anything but …
 
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DelayedGratificationGene

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2020
441
1,037
These stupid headlines and articles about engineers leaving Apple (or most any other company) are kinda pointless and are just garbage analytics. Several of these popping up about chip designers and engineers leaving before the first Apple Silicon chips launched and then again before the new MacBook Pros. And yet here we are, Apple's M1 series chips, especially M1 Pro and Max, are absolutely phenomenal. Not enough credit being given to all the engineers who are still onboard working on such things.
Agreed. Just sounds like project is ramping up and those less desirable employees are feeling left out and of course leave.
 

Cosmosent

macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
2,315
2,691
La Jolla, CA
They should have focused on an Apple Race Car first !

1.) Hydraulic-assit Power Steering

2.) curb weight < 3300 lbs

3.) 50/50 weight distribution

4.) 3.6-liter square-design inline-6 NA ICE w/ an 8K RPM Redline

(300 hp @ 6250, 300 lb-ft @ 2750)

5.) 6-speed manual transmission

6.) custom Lightweight Trailer Hitch, for hooking up an AirStream :)

If Apple, OR really anyone, made a Sedan version of it, & priced it $20K USD above the Model 3, Tesla sales would stall-out, BIG time !

BMW was close to being there in 2005, but then they pivoted to chase the Chinese market, & screw'd themselves BIG time !

BTW, there is significant pent-up demand for what I've described.

Apple, OR really anyone, could use it as a First Step towards an EV.

Apple, OR really anyone, could have created a lot of Enthusiasm & learned a lot along the way.

But ... & there's always a but, they ALL chose to chase Tesla's Projected P/E instead.
 

rp2011

macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2010
2,049
2,191
Too many people are walking away from it lately. I would imagine they are winding down some aspects of this project because they either reached a milestone, or regrouping or because they are shelving it.
 
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B-Mc-C

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2017
91
349
Irvine, California
I think Mark Gurman is working for the short sellers lately. Just a vibe I am getting. Lots of negative reporting and I’m skeptical when people use ”anonymous sources.” Nikkei had to correct his reporting that iPhone was facing dwindling demand ahead of the holidays. As for these people being extremely key engineers, what is the source for that? I will believe it when I see an official org chart for the project from Apple. On a team of hundreds (previously as high as 1,000) engineers, there could literally be hundreds of “managers” with a couple of people underneath them.
 
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