Former self-driving Tesla CEO leaves Apple for greener pastures
Apple is said to have been working on self-driving car technology since 2014, but has faced a series of high-profile employee departures over the past year. As reported by Bloomberg Wednesday, the newest is CJ Moore, who had just joined the company last August.
Prior to joining Apple, Moore was director of autopilot at Tesla, working on self-driving cars even as he contradicted the bold schedule that Tesla CEO Elon Musk laid out for the project when speaking with regulators in California. It’s not clear exactly what Moore’s work has been at Apple since he joined the company.
Anyway, he is now moving to Luminar Technologies, which is aggressively hiring prominent directors and CEOs from the tech and auto giants. At Luminar, Moore will lead global software development for lidar-based features to ensure passenger safety in self-driving vehicles.
Bloomberg notes that “almost the entire Apple Car management team” has left Apple over the past two years. Other notable departures include project leader Doug Field, who left to join Ford last year. Apple VP of technology Kevin Lynch, who worked at Adobe before joining Apple in 2013, is said to now run the Apple car project, which is internally called Project Titan.
While much of Apple focuses on the iPhone and other products and services in its periphery, Project Titan is one of Apple’s biggest efforts to develop a new product category that can be as successful and disruptive as the introduction of the iPhone.
The other effort in mixed reality. Apple is said to be working on virtual and augmented reality glasses, which recent behind-the-scenes reports have claimed was born in part from the acquisition of a company that made sensor technology for self-driving vehicles.
Project Titan and the Mixed Reality project both saw many bumps in the proverbial road, as often do major new research and development projects at the frontiers of technology. Apple is said to be in the early stages of developing self-driving cars, but several recent reports have claimed that the company’s first mixed reality glasses are heading for release.