Tesla hires architect of Apple's Swift as VP of Autopilot Software

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 10
Shortly after it was revealed that Swift creator Chris Lattner is planning to leave Apple later in January, Tesla on Tuesday announced it has hired the expert away from Cupertino to serve as Vice President of Autopilot Software.




Tesla welcomed Lattner in a post to the company's official blog made just hours after his departure from Apple was reported online.

"We are very excited that Chris is joining Tesla to lead our Autopilot engineering team and accelerate the future of autonomous driving," Tesla says.

The post goes on to list Lattner's achievements, including his 11 years at Apple which culminated in the Swift programming language. Lattner's work on the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure, a set of open source, modular compiler and toolchain technologies was also mentioned.

At Tesla, Lattner will be taking over for Jinnah Hosein, SpaceX's VP of Software who was pulling double-duty as interim VP of Tesla Autopilot Software. Hosein will return to SpaceX on a full-time basis.

Lattner's departure for Tesla comes as Apple abandons its own efforts to build a branded self-driving car. Dubbed "Project Titan," Apple's automotive initiative was initially expected to bear an electric autonomous vehicle in 2019 or 2020, but the program reportedly fell apart in late 2015.

With former project leader Steve Zadesky gone, Apple is said to have handed the reins of Project Titan to senior VP of Hardware Engineering Dan Riccio, and then to longtime executive Bob Mansfield. Under Mansfield's watch, hundreds of employees were culled as the program refocused on self-driving software and supporting hardware like sensors.

Whether Apple's decision to move away from the development of a full-fledged autonomous vehicle played a role in Lattner's departure is unknown.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    It's always about Ego.
    patchythepiratejahbladetallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 69
    FWIW: He's not a Software Guru. He's a compiler researcher Post-Doc. Completely different boats.
    propodtallest skil
  • Reply 3 of 69
    What we don't know - is about everything that is speculated on in this piece when it comes to Apple's car plans. What exactly Apple ever planned to do, or is doing with cars is, as far as I've read, all speculation. Were they going to build their own car? Are they considering that? Are they just software? No one is sure outside of probably 5 or 6 people at Apple's HQ.
    NY1822
  • Reply 4 of 69
    MnMark said:
    What we don't know - is about everything that is speculated on in this piece when it comes to Apple's car plans. What exactly Apple ever planned to do, or is doing with cars is, as far as I've read, all speculation. Were they going to build their own car? Are they considering that? Are they just software? No one is sure outside of probably 5 or 6 people at Apple's HQ.
    Here's what we knows so far:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/how-apple-scaled-back-its-titanic-plan-to-take-on-detroit

    "New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said."

    "
    Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said."
    tmay
  • Reply 5 of 69
    Quite the get for Tesla. He didn't want to work on Project Titan?
  • Reply 6 of 69
    It's like an arranged marriage of royalty between kingdoms with significant benefits to both.
    brakkenMacPro
  • Reply 7 of 69
    safisafi Posts: 32member
    Thank You for LLVM. I'm sure he has a much more rewarding/challenging job now at Tesla with them looking to break the Oil and Gas mafia. Apple while important, is now merely making cellphones and computers. 
    lostkiwitzm41
  • Reply 8 of 69
    This is stunning! Especially as Swift is just getting going. This is not good news for Apple and developers that use Swift!
    blastdoor
  • Reply 9 of 69
    safi said:
    Thank You for LLVM. I'm sure he has a much more rewarding/challenging job now at Tesla with them looking to break the Oil and Gas mafia. Apple while important, is now merely making cellphones and computers. 
    smartphones are computers.
  • Reply 10 of 69
    safisafi Posts: 32member
    FWIW: He's not a Software Guru. He's a compiler researcher Post-Doc. Completely different boats.
    I think that makes him a Guru. Designing and implementing something like LLVM is no easy task.
    StrangeDaysanantksundaram1sttzm41stompy
  • Reply 11 of 69
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 587member
    MnMark said:
    What we don't know - is about everything that is speculated on in this piece when it comes to Apple's car plans. What exactly Apple ever planned to do, or is doing with cars is, as far as I've read, all speculation. Were they going to build their own car? Are they considering that? Are they just software? No one is sure outside of probably 5 or 6 people at Apple's HQ.
    Here's what we knows so far:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/how-apple-scaled-back-its-titanic-plan-to-take-on-detroit

    "New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said."

    "Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said."
    Hopefully Apple will be able to salvage something from this.   maybe they can develop specialized versions of their A series chips for Detroit that would work with their software.   

    Tesla is too far ahead of Apple for Apple to make their own car (unless they buy Faraday Future).

    lostkiwi
  • Reply 12 of 69
    safisafi Posts: 32member
    safi said:
    Thank You for LLVM. I'm sure he has a much more rewarding/challenging job now at Tesla with them looking to break the Oil and Gas mafia. Apple while important, is now merely making cellphones and computers. 
    smartphones are computers.
    *cellphones and consumer laptops/desktops
  • Reply 13 of 69
    k2kw said:
    MnMark said:
    What we don't know - is about everything that is speculated on in this piece when it comes to Apple's car plans. What exactly Apple ever planned to do, or is doing with cars is, as far as I've read, all speculation. Were they going to build their own car? Are they considering that? Are they just software? No one is sure outside of probably 5 or 6 people at Apple's HQ.
    Here's what we knows so far:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/how-apple-scaled-back-its-titanic-plan-to-take-on-detroit

    "New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said."

    "Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said."
    Hopefully Apple will be able to salvage something from this.   maybe they can develop specialized versions of their A series chips for Detroit that would work with their software.   

    Tesla is too far ahead of Apple for Apple to make their own car (unless they buy Faraday Future).

    or buy McLaren.Automotive
    caliclock07
  • Reply 14 of 69
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,612member
    Major indictment of senior management at apple. 

    This does not bode well for Tim Cook. He needs to right this ship. 2017 is make or break for him. I hope he can do it -- I like him.
    anantksundaramdysamoria
  • Reply 15 of 69
    Quite the get for Tesla. He didn't want to work on Project Titan?
    He is being hired as VP, we will see if he has the skills to succeed. It is a different skillset. Does anyone know if he has a foundation in Machine Learning etc. There is a massive deficit of skills in that area, and it would be surprising that if he did have that on his resume they would not have already been using him in that sort of position rather than compiler stuff. We will see if the fit is right.
  • Reply 16 of 69
    It's always about Ego.
    What? He was with Apple for over a decade, I'm sure it's about stretching his wings and working on his career -- if I were offered a VP spot I'd leave my current job too. 
    anantksundarambrucemc
  • Reply 17 of 69

    FWIW: He's not a Software Guru. He's a compiler researcher Post-Doc. Completely different boats.
    What? He's designing and building the software that enables other developers to write software with. Are you honestly suggesting he's not a software guy? How long have you worked with him personally? Never?
    anantksundarampropod
  • Reply 18 of 69

    MnMark said:
    What we don't know - is about everything that is speculated on in this piece when it comes to Apple's car plans. What exactly Apple ever planned to do, or is doing with cars is, as far as I've read, all speculation. Were they going to build their own car? Are they considering that? Are they just software? No one is sure outside of probably 5 or 6 people at Apple's HQ.
    Here's what we knows so far:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/how-apple-scaled-back-its-titanic-plan-to-take-on-detroit

    "New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said."

    "Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said."
    Uh those are rumors and are not known.
    cali
  • Reply 19 of 69

    GaryB said:
    This is stunning! Especially as Swift is just getting going. This is not good news for Apple and developers that use Swift!
    Why is it not good news? Is Apple going to stop Swift work? Drop all support? No and no. Projects like Swift aren't dependent on one man alone.
    SpamSandwichmdriftmeyercalilostkiwipropod
  • Reply 20 of 69

    k2kw said:
    MnMark said:
    What we don't know - is about everything that is speculated on in this piece when it comes to Apple's car plans. What exactly Apple ever planned to do, or is doing with cars is, as far as I've read, all speculation. Were they going to build their own car? Are they considering that? Are they just software? No one is sure outside of probably 5 or 6 people at Apple's HQ.
    Here's what we knows so far:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-17/how-apple-scaled-back-its-titanic-plan-to-take-on-detroit

    "New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said."

    "Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said."
    Hopefully Apple will be able to salvage something from this.   maybe they can develop specialized versions of their A series chips for Detroit that would work with their software.   

    Tesla is too far ahead of Apple for Apple to make their own car (unless they buy Faraday Future).

    “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

    -- Palm CEO Ed Colligan on Apple being too far behind on smartphones.
    mdriftmeyercaliRayz2016matt2monstrosity
Sign In or Register to comment.