According to Bloomberg, it will take at least five years for Apple to launch an autonomous electric car, and development work is still in its early stages.
The technology giant from Cupertino, California, initially intended to build a complete car to compete with Tesla. It hired hundreds of hardware engineers, but quickly cut back in 2016 to focus on autonomous driving systems.
The team has dozens of former Tesla hardware and self-driving car engineers, most of whom have participated in the development of self-driving car systems, rather than mature vehicles.
But starting this year, Apple seems to have set out to make cars again, letting some of the engineers in the department invest in this work.
▲Apple tested self-driving cars in 2017, picture from: Bloomberg
Reuters recently reported that Apple plans to start producing cars as early as 2024.
In recent months, Apple has transferred an executive to the automotive team, which shows that Apple has restarted the development of vehicles. In 2019, Apple hired former Tesla vice president of engineering Steve MacManus (Steve MacManus) to lead a development team focused on automotive interiors, fabrics, automotive testing and vehicle manufacturing.
▲Steve McManus, picture from: AmarUjala
In addition to McManus, there are more and more former Tesla executives and engineers on the Apple car team list:
- In 2019, Apple hired Tesla’s former vice president of drive systems, Michael Schwekutsch (Michael Schwekutsch);
- At the end of 2020, Apple hired another former Tesla vice president Stuart Bowers (Stuart Bowers);
- Apple also hired Jonathan Sive, a vehicle engineer who had served BMW, Tesla, and Alphabet Inc. Waymo earlier this year.
▲Former Tesla Vice President Stewart Bowles, picture from: Greylock
But in the past six months, Apple's life seems not easy.
According to Bloomberg News, Apple has lost many senior members of its self-driving car team in recent months. In recent days, Dave Scott, who led the automotive-related robotics team, resigned from Apple and became the CEO of the medical insurance company Hyperfine.
Before Scott left, Jaime Waydo, who led the self-driving car safety and supervision team, left to become the chief technology officer of Cavnue, a startup company focused on autonomous driving safety.
In February of this year, Benjamin Lyon (Benjamin Lyon), who helped Apple establish its first automotive team and played a key role in it, has also left Apple to become the chief engineer of an aerospace technology company "Astra".
▲Picture from: Islamic Publishing
Since the launch of Apple's car project in 2014, there have been many restarts, and there have been many management changes. The departure of many important employees this year may increase the difficulty of Apple's realization of the car project. Therefore, Apple has been actively recruiting experts in the automotive industry to fill the leadership team of the automotive sector.
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