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Benjamin Lyon, who was heading up a sensor team working on the Apple Car, recently departed Apple to join space startup Astra as the company's chief engineer.

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

Lyon shared the news in an interview with TechCrunch, where he said that he moved on to Astra because he was interested in Astra's vision as it works on small satellite deployment. "I think the Astra vision is this magical combination of fundamentally taking the rocket science out of space. How do you do that? Well, you better have a great foundation of a team, and a great foundation of core technologies that you can bring together in order to make a compelling series of products," he said.

Prior to leaving Apple, Lyon worked on the iPhone, input devices and sensor hardware, and finally, the Apple Car. In 2016, he was working under Bob Mansfield, but Apple Car leadership has since shifted to AI chief John Giannandrea. Prior to leaving Apple, Lyon was reporting to Doug Field, the former Tesla engineer serving as vice president on the project.

Lyon has been on the Apple Car team since 2014, and according to Bloomberg, weathered all of the changes in leadership until moving on to Astra this year.

Article Link: Apple Car Sensor Manager Departs Company for Space Startup Astra
 
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jz0309

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Sep 25, 2018
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That is true. It looks like a possibly good move for Lyon. It does seem like there has been a lot of coming and going in the car department.
well, given that they are working on this presumably for 5,6,7 or so yeas, I am sure that plans have changed jut as often and people get fed up with situations like that, not saying it's the case for this specific one ...
 
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Apple_Robert

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Sep 21, 2012
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well, given that they are working on this presumably for 5,6,7 or so yeas, I am sure that plans have changed jut as often and people get fed up with situations like that, not saying it's the case for this specific one ...
If I live long enough to see a Jetsons car come to fruition, I will be happy. lol Make it happen Apple.
 

Apple_Robert

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Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
They could build an exclusive space network for their phones and such and not rely on other carriers
Yes, they could. That still doesn't answer the question I asked her.

It is a major leap to go from Lyon leaving Apple, to saying Apple should start looking into space where there is profit margin. I was trying to ascertain the thought process behind the comment.
 

Cosmosent

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Apr 20, 2016
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Any Ev that Apple would produce would have a tough time gaining traction.

The established players have ALL been chasing Tesla the past few years, & are just now starting to produce viable competitors.

Apple is clearly late to the game, much like their AppleTV+ service.

I suspect ANY rumored Ev Apple Car will have the same fate.

IMO, Apple should be pursuing a End-of-Lifetime strategy with Naturally Aspirated (NA) engines.

For example:

3.6-liter In-Line Six with a Square Design (i.e., bore = stroke)

330 HP @ 6250 RPM

330 lb-ft @ 2750 RPM

Put that in a vehicle with a curb weight < 3300 lbs, & Apple would have something Extremely Competitive !

Put in a 21-gal gas tank, & its range would be almost 600 highway miles.

Offer an Auto + AWD version with a Tow Hitch, & it would be ideal for pairing with a descent-sized AirStream !

What I've described is a car that would last 20 years !

Could it compete with this ?

Nope, but it could be offered @ 1/3 the price !

 

il_teo77

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Sep 11, 2015
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When I read news like these sometimes I wonder if working for years on a project of which you cannot speak with anybody has something to do with the decision. Purely from a human, psychological, point of view. I think it can be frustrating at times to apply everything you know to something no one has seen and maybe won’t for a longtime
 
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Macyourdayy

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2011
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When I read news like these sometimes I wonder if working for years on a project of which you cannot speak with anybody has something to do with the decision. Purely from a human, psychological, point of view. I think it can be frustrating at times to apply everything you know to something no one has seen and maybe won’t for a longtime
Maybe he’s done his part, maybe it’s actually nearing some kind of completion and he wants to move to another blue sky project. Maybe the Apple Car is a disaster and will never see the light of day. Maybe Giananndrea has fixed the Car like he fixed Siri. We may or may not ever know.
 
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