Apple Continues to Recruit Talent to Join Secretive Automotive Team

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple continues to recruit talent to bolster its "Project Titan" team, which is rumored to be researching an electric vehicle. Over the past several weeks, the company has hired multiple employees from Tesla Motors, Texas Instruments, and other companies in the automotive and technology industries, likely to join hundreds of others already working on the so-called "Apple Car."


Apple hired former Tesla Motors engineering manager Hal Ockerse last month to join its own software engineering team, according to his LinkedIn profile. Ockerse was employed at Tesla between July 2014 and August 2015, working on hardware architecture and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) components, including cameras, radars, LiDAR, and engine control units (ECUs).


Ockerse does not list his responsibilities at Apple, but it is likely that he is working on Apple's car-related project. His experience prior to Tesla includes an eleven-year stint at Gentex Corporation, where as a research manager he worked on advanced driver assist solutions, a three-axis automotive electronic compass, custom designed HDR image cameras and sensors, and more.

Apple also recruited former Texas Instruments design engineer Subhagato Dutta to join its in-house technologies team in July. Dutta is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, known for its research on self-driving vehicles, and worked on an automotive algorithm and imaging algorithm development team at Texas Instruments between July 2012 and November 2013.


Yakshu Madaan joined Apple as a technical program manager in July, according to his LinkedIn profile. Madaan previously served as an operations manager at Tata Motors, the largest Indian automotive manufacturer, between July 2012 and August 2014. Madaan also designed and developed fuel injection strategies as a research assistant at the Indian Institute of Technology and UBC in early 2011.


Apple has been recruiting automotive experts since at least February for its automotive-related project, including former Tesla, Ford and GM employees, but there still remains some uncertainty as to whether Apple is working on its own vehicle or building upon its CarPlay platform for an enhanced in-car experience. As expected, the project remains highly secretive in Cupertino.

Last week, it was reported that former Tesla firmware engineer Jamie Carlson left the company to join Apple's "Special Projects" group in August, alongside several other autonomous vehicle experts. Apple also hired Doug Betts, former Senior Vice President of the Chrysler Group, and Paul Furgale, a researcher who specializes in autonomous vehicles, according to a report in July.

Article Link: Apple Continues to Recruit Talent to Join Secretive Automotive Team
 

AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
4,848
23,108
It's interesting to read rumors about a secret car project, original content production, and a new TV. Is anybody else suspicious that these aren't three separate projects but actually one? There is a huge space in the market for a car that plugs into one's television and generates content at random.

CarTVCreator.gif

"Today, we're releasing a car, a television, and a content generator. A car, a TV, and a content generator. Are you getting it? These are not three different things."
 
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sampaul

macrumors member
Aug 22, 2012
81
191
Philadelphia
Okay things are starting to get interesting now....Apple can deny all the way but I am sure they are thinking of competing in the car industry.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,845
4,622
I hope this doesn't cause Tesla to delay the Model 3 or Autopilot at all.

I'm all for Apple making their own affordable self-driving electric car to compete with Tesla's Model 3, but not at the expense of the Model 3.
 

Four oF NINE

macrumors 68000
Sep 28, 2011
1,843
772
Hell's Kitchen
I'd much prefer Apple stick with a handful of products that are really well designed and engineered, and do them really well. Computers, mobile devices, wearables.

Getting so far afield into autos seems fraught and ill-advised. Auto industry players are over 100 years old. they're capital investment intensive, and margins are relatively thin.

I hope they know what they're doing.. My advice? Tread carefully.
 

TallManNY

macrumors 601
Nov 5, 2007
4,354
1,211
Lots of activity. Too many guys associated with nuts and bolts to be just a car play product. So it is a car. But is it a self driving car? Is it an electric car? I'd guess yes for both those things. But I'd almost be more intrigued if it was just a normal current car that Apple wants to introduce in two or three years and go after the luxury car market in total. Think of it as a competitor for Audi/BWM/Mercedes and not so much competition for Tesla and Google Driverless Cars. High design and improved customer satisfaction has often been a main driver for Apple The car wouldn't need to be self-driving to have that special Apple touch.
 

TallManNY

macrumors 601
Nov 5, 2007
4,354
1,211
I'd much prefer Apple stick with a handful of products that are really well designed and engineered, and do them really well. Computers, mobile devices, wearables.

Getting so far afield into autos seems fraught and ill-advised. Auto industry players are over 100 years old. they're capital investment intensive, and margins are relatively thin.

I hope they know what they're doing.. My advice? Tread carefully.
I hear you on the hubris of this attempt. But margins are thin to none existent in cell phones and PCs, except for Apple. Building cell phones and PCs also requires huge capital for the manufacturing, but Apple outsources that. So don't pretend that the car business is all that different. And Apple would presumably only go after the luxury market. It will not go after market share. So don't look at 80% of the car sales. Look at the 20% most expensive cars sold in the U.S. market and ask if those cars sell at low margins.
 

talk2tony

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2012
3
0
NorthEast
Maybe this has more to do with the Rumor that Apple is in preparations to produce an automotive show rather then build a car
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68030
Dec 31, 2007
2,994
2,571
Milwaukee Area
The inevitable transport system of the future more resembles an electric rail system with personal cars able to enter and exit it, communicate with the rail system which routes and carries all cars at whatever speed the passenger desires, induction-charge cars batteries en route, and leaves you off at your nearest exit node, charged up to get where you're going... the best of both worlds.

too bad it's a thousand years off and robots will have taken over the earth by then
 

McGiord

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
4,536
287
Dark Castle
Lots of activity. Too many guys associated with nuts and bolts to be just a car play product. So it is a car. But is it a self driving car? Is it an electric car? I'd guess yes for both those things. But I'd almost be more intrigued if it was just a normal current car that Apple wants to introduce in two or three years and go after the luxury car market in total. Think of it as a competitor for Audi/BWM/Mercedes and not so much competition for Tesla and Google Driverless Cars. High design and improved customer satisfaction has often been a main driver for Apple The car wouldn't need to be self-driving to have that special Apple touch.
Driver assistance is going to be mandatory per regulations sometime in the near future, and fuel economy/emissions too will hit the market in the next years. So no matter how they pretend to enter the market they will have to include them.
 

zakarhino

Contributor
Sep 13, 2014
894
1,328
Berkeley
Apple making their own affordable self-driving electric car
Yeah... affordable.

"The :apple:Auto will start at 100 thousand for the Sport model with matte aloominum and IonX glass finish... The :apple:Auto starts at just 210 thousand with the chrome steel finish and sapphire interior... And the :apple:Auto Edition will start at 750 thousand with that beautiful rose gold Apple logo at the front..... *long pause* ... We believe this is the biggest advancement in the history of automobeelss..." -Tim Cook

I think this thing will be the antithesis of affordable if it really does turn out to be a self driving car for consumers. Part of me still thinks we're dealing with an Apple designed/manufactured car used for some other service (street view and so on).

We'll probably end up with a vehicle in the same price range as the P85 Model S from Tesla.
 
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