Apple hires ex-Tesla Autopilot software director for the Apple Car project

Apple hires ex-Tesla Autopilot software director for the Apple Car project
There have been numerous rumors and reports about the Apple Car project and how this project is going. Although nothing is confirmed at this stage, Cupertino seems to be taking the Apple Car project seriously. It seems Apple has now hired an ex-Tesla engineer, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Apple hires former Tesla engineer Christopher "CJ" Moore

The new report suggests that Cupertino has hired Christopher "CJ" Moore for the team working on the Apple Car. The engineer used to work over at Tesla and this year, he drew controversy for his remarks about the company's Autopilot feature. Moore is supposedly going to work on the software for the self-driving vehicle, and he will be reporting to Stuart Bowers.

Bowers, on the other hand, is another former Tesla executive who started working at Apple at the end of last year. Before that, he had led the Autopilot team over at Tesla and he had left in mid-2019.

This move by Apple implies that the company is going forwards with its attempts on making self-driving technology, which should therefore compete with automakers such as Tesla. Apple has never publicly disclosed exactly what its car plans are, so now Moore is joining a division known for its secrecy.

On the other hand, earlier this year, the head of Apple's car project, codenamed Titan, left Cupertino to lead technology efforts over at Ford.

Moore has drawn controversy this year because of his comments on the Autopilot software of Tesla. He reportedly implied that the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, had overstated what the Autopilot software could do and what it is capable of. Moore was interviewed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles earlier this year, where he stated that Musk's statements didn't "match engineering reality". He was referring to Musk's claim that Teslas would be capable of fully autonomous driving this year.

Musk has said for many years that he believes Tesla is really close to releasing the so-called Level 5 autonomy features. A Level 5 self-driving car means the vehicle can operate with no human intervention. The current system is at Level 2, and it requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.

Additionally, a lawsuit about the case of a Florida man who died in a 2019 car crash while using Autopilot is seeking Moore to testify in court.

The Apple team currently (reportedly) working on the Apple Car has other ex-Tesla employees, including the former drive trains chief Michael Schwekutsch and interiors head Steve MacManus. Several other people have recently left the company, including Doug Field (who was replaced by Kevin Lynch), head of robotics Dave Scott, and chief of safety Haime Waydo. Dave Rosenthal, another manager for the effort, also recently left Cupertino after leaving the project.

Apple recently replaced the Apple Car project lead

Last month, we reported on the fact that Apple has replaced Doug Field, the Apple Car project software lead, with Kevin Lynch. Lynch, besides being Apple’s vice president of technology, is also known for overseeing WatchOS and all of the company’s health-related software.

Now, he has taken full leadership of the 'Apple Car' project, which is known internally as Project Titan as we reported above. The former engineer, Doug Field, left the company after being with it for three years.

On the other hand, Kevin Lynch was already a part of Project Titan, where he reportedly oversaw the software development, but now Apple has placed him at the head of the self-driving car project. This change could serve as a hint about Apple's approach to this endeavor, as all the previous executives for the project were -- in one way or another -- experienced with cars.
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