The Apple Car project loses three more key figures from its engineering team0
The Apple Car project reportedly loses three more key staff members
There has been a lot of departures from what seems to be a very ambitious business. Now, Eric Rogers, who was Apple's chief engineer for radar systems for the project for the self-driving vehicle has reportedly left to go join Joby Aviation Inc, a flying taxi startup. Alex Clarabut, who was an engineering manager for the team's battery systems group, has now joined Archer Aviation, another company working on air taxis.
The third person who recently left Apple is Stephen Spiteri, who was a hardware engineering manager, and he has also gone ahead and joined Archer. The two flying taxis companies have confirmed the appointments.
All these staff changes serve to show how many challenges the Cupertino tech giant is facing as it is expanding into an entirely new industry. Of course, building and selling a self-driving car represents a massive new sales opportunity, one of its famous "next big thing", but this technology is quite challenging and far from perfect at the moment.
This project has been reportedly going for seven years, and during this period it has been marked by frequent turnover and multiple strategy shifts.
The news of the three engineers leaving the company comes after a key figure's departure that we reported on recently. Michael Schwekutsch led hardware engineering for the project and he also left to join the Archer air taxi business as a senior vice president. The Apple Car project's former head, Doug Field, also recently left.
Overall, at least six other members of the project's management team have left this year. Some of the former employees have joined car startups such as Rivian Automotive.
However, Apple has also hired some key engineers this year. For example, Urlich Kranz was hired this year, who previously led self-driving car company Canoo and electric vehicle development at BMW, as well as Christopher "CJ" Moore, who was a self-driving software director over at Tesla.
Kevin Lynch, who oversay the Apple Watch and health software, took over the car project after Doug Field left the company. Reportedly, he is trying to give the Car project a clearer vision and assign it more urgency, including trying to push its launch date to as early as 2025.
The Apple Car: what we know (or have heard about) so far
Internally, the project is reportedly known as the Project Titan. There is little to no information on the specifics of the way an Apple self-driving vehicle is supposed to work. First off, we have the key radar systems that should allow the vehicle to understand where it is on the streets and to operate. These radar systems over at the Apple Car project have reportedly been overseen by Rogers.
According to other reports, the interior of the car will resemble something similar to a limousine, and it will probably not have any pedals or a steering wheel.
However, as the project is not yet announced to the public, there are not many details to complement the picture of what we could expect from it. So far, it is expected to be unveiled by 2025, if all goes well, that is.