New York (Bloomberg)-Apple’s self-driving car project has lost three key engineers in the last few weeks and has surged out of a turbulent business with difficult ambitions.
Billed as Apple’s chief engineer for the project’s radar system, Eric Rogers has been heading to Flying Taxi startup Joby Aviation for the past few weeks. Alex Clarabut, Engineering Manager, Battery Systems Group, team has joined Archer Aviation, another company working on the development of air taxis. Stephen Spiteri, Apple’s hardware engineering manager, has also left to join Archer.
Joby and Archer confirmed this appointment. This underscores the push by aviation start-ups to steal Silicon Valley talent. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Escape represents the challenges Apple faces as it expands into new industries. Self-driving cars could represent a major new sales opportunity for one of its famous “next big things”, the tech giant, but it’s been years to perfect such technology. I’ve been bothering engineers for a while. And the project seven years ago is characterized by frequent turnovers, strategic shifts, and rivals poaching their talents.
Recent asylum follows the death of at least six members of the project’s management team this year, including former chief Doug Field. An important starting point these days was Dr. Michael Schwekutsch, who was leading hardware engineering for that effort. Dr. Schwekutsch has also joined Archer and is Senior Vice President.
Other ex-employees joined start-ups such as Rivian Automotive, an Irvine-based automaker that made its biggest initial public offering this year last month. At the same time, Apple has made some important hires this year.
This includes Ulrich Kranz, who previously led the development of self-driving car startup Canoo and electric vehicles at BMW, and CJ Moore, former Tesla self-driving software director.
The radar system supervised by Rogers is an important aspect of self-driving cars. The radar system allows the vehicle to move on the road and understand where it is. Radar technology is different from the cameras that Tesla uses for self-driving car technology.
Apple is also planning a battery system for automobiles that can take advantage of the combined charging system (CCS), which is currently a globally expanding platform. Mr. Field, the former boss of the project, has become a senior manager at Ford Motor Company. Other managers who took the exit included Dave Scott, Jaime Wade, Dave Rosenthal, and Benjamin Lyon.
After Mr. Field left, Kevin Lynch, who oversees Apple Watch and health software, took over the car project. He has endeavored to provide a clearer vision and urgency, including promoting the launch of fully self-driving cars in 2025. The idea is to avoid limousine-like interior pedals and steering wheels. Bloomberg News reported.
Apple’s automotive project has lost three more key engineers to startups Tech News News and Top Stories.
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