Apple is said to have “hundreds of engineers” working on self-driving car technology, but a new report from Bloomberg says the company recently lost “multiple top managers” from the team. Despite these departures, Apple is still said to be actively pursuing its plans to develop a car.
The report focuses on three key departures. Dave Scott, who had been leading teams working on robotics for Apple Car, departed in “recent days” to serve as CEO of a health care company. Secondly, Jamie Waydo, who had been leading the safety and regulation teams, recently departed Apple for a separate autonomous car startup.
Finally, Benjamin Lyon, an early member of Apple’s original team researching the car project and a “key in the future project’s development,” departed in February for a space startup.
The report says, however, that Apple is still actively recruiting for the car team despite these departures. The personnel changes could add “additional complexity” to the project, though.
Despite the recent departures, Apple has added notable names to the car team over the past few years, including former top Tesla executives in charge of drive systems and manufacturing engineering, car interiors and exteriors and self-driving software. The team also includes other car industry veterans and executives who have developed key Apple products.
If Apple ends up releasing a car, it’s unlikely to launch until later this decade at the earliest. The group of departures this year could add additional complexity to the company’s ability to make the project a reality. Still, the iPhone maker has been actively recruiting car industry experts to fill out the division’s leadership team.
The Apple Car project is currently being overseen by John Giannandrea, Apple’s senior vice president of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The project has shifted in scope multiple times over the years, but Apple is currently focusing on building a self-driving system that it can use for an Apple-branded car made in partnership with a production partner.
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