By: Nick Gambino
Apple seems to be gearing up to put their electric car, Project Titan, in overdrive. It was just reported by Reuters that they’ve added yet another former Tesla engineer, Jamie Carlson, to the project.
Back in February a report surfaced that Tim Cook had approved the Apple electric car project all the way back in early 2014. The Wall Street Journal at the time added to the story revealing that hundreds of employees were put onto the project.
“Apple has several hundred employees working secretly toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle, according to people familiar with the matter. They said the project, code-named “Titan” has an initial design of a vehicle that resembles a minivan, one of these people said.” The Wall Street Journal article stated.
Steve Zadesky, a former executive with Ford, is heading up the project and has apparently been tasked with creating a 1,000-person team, which he evidently is wasting no time doing.
Since then there have been several “poached” engineers joining Apple’s top secret project. Now what’s interesting about Carlson and these recent others joining the fold is their placement in the self driving car team. Carlson specifically brings experience from his involvement in Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving program.
The other recent additions include former VW engineer, Megan McClain, former Nvidia employee, Xianquiao Tong as well as Vinay Palakkode, Paul Frugal and Doug Betts.
Now while you might be getting worked up at the idea of Apple poaching another company’s employees like some large multi-billion-dollar bully, you might want to check your ire. It seems there has been some kind of poaching seesaw between the two giants.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, had this to say, “I certainly hope Apple gets into the car business. That would be great.”
He followed up this seemingly passive-aggressive comment with, “But we’re not seeing any significant attrition of engineers to Apple, for anything. Cars or otherwise. Anyone can find this out by going on LinkedIn. If you look at the trailing 12 months, Tesla has recruited something like five times as many people from Apple as Apple has from Tesla.”
I guess all is fair in love and industry war. Apple reportedly is planning to have their Titan car ready for launch by 2020. Seems to me that’s a bit of a stiff target but with the amount of qualified resources their pouring into this project something tells me they just might make it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.