Apple Hires High-Profile Senior Waymo Engineer for Self-Driving Car Project

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Apple has hired Jaime Waydo, an autonomous vehicle expert who previously worked as a senior engineer at Google's Waymo, reports The Information. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the hiring, but declined to provide details on what she would be working on.

Waydo, who served as head of systems engineering at Waymo, was "instrumental," according to former colleagues that spoke to The Information. She was in charge of verifying the safety of Waymo's prototypes and provided input on when it was safe enough to launch on-the-road tests in Phoenix in 2016.


Prior to working at Waymo, Waydo was a senior engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for more than a decade, where she helped develop a rover vehicle that has driven on Mars.

The Information speculates that Apple's hiring of Waydo could indicate that it is making progress towards launching a prototype vehicle, but the report also says that the car project continues to suffer from a "lack of communication among teams."

Apple originally had ambitious self-driving vehicle plans that included a full autonomous vehicle, but those plans were scaled back and Apple shifted focus to autonomous driving software. Apple has been testing Lexus vehicles equipped with its autonomous driving software since April 2017.

In May, Apple signed a deal with Volkswagen to use Volkswagen vans for its on-campus shuttle program called "PAIL," which is designed to transport employees around its various campuses and office buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Volkswagens will be autonomous, powered by Apple's self-driving software.

Apple's self-driving shuttle program has been described as behind schedule and "consuming nearly all of the car team's attention," with the company having no clear idea of what it will do with the autonomous driving project beyond the shuttle efforts.

Article Link: Apple Hires High-Profile Senior Waymo Engineer for Self-Driving Car Project
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,326
13,683
In between a rock and a hard place
Autonomous vehicle programs are really starting to heat up. Apple is teaming up with VW for their on campus shuttle. Google is going to purchase 20,000 Jaguar iPace CUV's for Waymo. All of the big OEM's are ramping up their programs. It's about to get real. Cyberdyne 1.0 here we come. :p:D
 

RoobyRoobyRoo

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2016
58
351
I love it. I'm happy to see this project receive a lot of talent and resources. Here's to hoping it's a serious competitor in the autonomous vehicle world someday, the more competition the better.
 

morjesta

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2017
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With all the restrictions Apple puts on fixing their phones by 3rd parties. I can imagine, "Oops, flat tire? Well you can only use Apple proprietary tire or we will deactivate your car" And with the planned obsolescence, your car will be forced to be upgraded every 2 years. And careful with the software updates, cause it will throttle your top-speed due to degraded batteries.
 

RogerWilco

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2011
750
1,240
Yet more :apple:car baloney? Let's see, the rumor rotation seems to be 1) transdermal glucose monitor, 2) an AR visor, 3) :apple:car, and 4) mLED :apple:TV/display.
 

69650

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Mar 23, 2006
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I don’t get where Apple is going with this project. If they’re not going to build an Apple Car what’s the point.
 
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RoobyRoobyRoo

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2016
58
351
I don’t get where Apple is going with this project. If they’re not going to build an Apple Car what’s the point.
I think the prevailing idea right now is that they create the software and license it to manufacturers, which avoids them having to deal with the mountain of problems related to trying to actually release a vehicle while still getting them a foothold in the market of autonomous vehicles.
 

disagree

macrumors newbie
Mar 25, 2008
29
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I think the prevailing idea right now is that they create the software and license it to manufacturers, which avoids them having to deal with the mountain of problems related to trying to actually release a vehicle while still getting them a foothold in the market of autonomous vehicles.
Issue with that is control of the necessary Autonomy hardware/wiring/etc. They'll just figure out what they need for autonomy to work and buy Tesla.
 

RoobyRoobyRoo

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2016
58
351
Issue with that is control of the necessary Autonomy hardware/wiring/etc. They'll just figure out what they need for autonomy to work and buy Tesla.
I don't think that's really much of an issue, and certainly not one big enough to warrant buying an automaker.
 

lkrupp

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2004
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With all the restrictions Apple puts on fixing their phones by 3rd parties. I can imagine, "Oops, flat tire? Well you can only use Apple proprietary tire or we will deactivate your car" And with the planned obsolescence, your car will be forced to be upgraded every 2 years. And careful with the software updates, cause it will throttle your top-speed due to degraded batteries.

Do us a favor and just try to keep your nonsensical thoughts to yourself.
One day's worth of effort spent on self diving cars would moderize their entire Mac line. Apple has lost its way.
Nope. You can't see the forest for the trees. Why do you think Apple named macOS 10.14 Mojave? It’s because they are leading you stick-in-the-mud Mac people into the desert to die. Desktops and Laptops are dying and Apple is moving to where the puck will be, not where it is right now. So go to Fry’s, grab some parts, build your PC and run Linux on it to your heart’s content while the world moves on past you.
 

69650

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I think the prevailing idea right now is that they create the software and license it to manufacturers, which avoids them having to deal with the mountain of problems related to trying to actually release a vehicle while still getting them a foothold in the market of autonomous vehicles.
I can see the logic, but all the big car companies probably have teams working on this already.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 604
Sep 12, 2017
6,783
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Sunnyvale, CA
Nope. You can't see the forest for the trees. Why do you think Apple named macOS 10.14 Mojave? It’s because they are leading you stick-in-the-mud Mac people into the desert to die. Desktops and Laptops are dying and Apple is moving to where the puck will be, not where it is right now. So go to Fry’s, grab some parts, build your PC and run Linux on it to your heart’s content while the world moves on past you.
Nope. Fewer people may need Macs, since some users can use an iPad as a replacement, but the quantity sold isn’t really dropping. Apple is actually expanding their market share in a contracting market.

Apple has no intention of abandoning the Mac. In fact, Apple has doubled down at the high end, releasing its fastest Mac ever last year with the new iMac Pro platform, and next year will top that with a new, even faster Mac with the new Mac Pro. The power, flexibility and capability of the Pro line dwarfs that of iPad. There’s no way to replace Mac with iPad in many workflows.

The iMac and MacBook Pro are updated yearly, and have been since 2008/2009, with one single exception for iMac. People complaining about Apple abandoning Mac hardware are buying into a false narrative.
 

Macaholic868

macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2017
425
496
I understand why their playing in this space. Even if they never bring a car to market the technologies developed to facilitate a self driving car could be very useful in other areas. If I were Apple ID stick to Car Play. I wouldn’t concern myself with a self driving car and instead focus on what the passanger(s) will be turning their attention to during the ride.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 604
Sep 12, 2017
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Probably paying her way too much on something Apple is way too late in the game.
People always complain Apple is late with this or that, but they seem to do ok with their “wait until they decide they’re ready” release strategy.

No one outside Apple knows the status of their autonomous driving project, or even their intentions for the program. For all we know they’ve partnered with an auto manufacturer and will release an Apple car next year.

No idea why you’d think she’s overpaid.
 
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DevNull0

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2015
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Great, more loss of focus from Timmy.

Since their engineers clearly can't do it, can't they hire an intern for the local community college to help them sort out their software bugs?
 

cmwade77

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2008
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Tesla's Autopilot issues have proven how dangerous this tech is and the potential dangers just get worse when you realize people can and will hack these systems to override where you want to go and perhaps even force your car to kill you. Don't think for a moment that it won't happen, it may be hackers or the government, but someone will do it to people. Hopefully not to you or anyone you know, but it will happen.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 604
Sep 12, 2017
6,783
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Sunnyvale, CA
So which will come first: Apple's self-driving car, or new mac hardware?
I doubt the self-driving car will come out this year. However, iMac and MacBook Pro have been updated at least once a year since 2008/2009, maybe even longer, with but one single exception. So they’re certainly expected to be updated this year.

No need to panic when the year isn’t even half over yet.
 
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