Apple hires senior Tesla engineer as 'Project Titan' evidence mounts

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited September 2015
The alleged hiring war between Apple and Tesla continues behind the scenes, with one of the electric carmaker's top engineers switching sides and joining Apple, presumably to bolster its rumored automotive project.


Tesla's upcoming Model X crossover.


Tesla senior engineer Jamie Carlson has joined Apple, his LinkedIn profile reveals, as discovered by Reuters. He was joined by at least six others with experience in developing self-driving cars, who are now working for the Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker.

The news follows last week's revelation that Apple has held discussions with a former naval base in California to use its facilities. Other companies known to be working on self-driving cars have turned to the GoMentum station, though it remains unknown whether Apple's project is indeed a self-driving vehicle.

An AppleInsider investigation conducted earlier this year revealed that Apple has a secret facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., where sources say the bulk of the work on a concept known as "Project Titan" has been underway. The automotive project is said to be shrouded in secrecy inside a top-secret building code-named SG5.

As for Apple's relationship with Tesla, the electric vehicle company's founder, Elon Musk, said earlier this year that he believes Tesla has wooed about five times as many engineers from Apple than the other way around. He also revealed that Apple has been trying "very hard" to poach Tesla engineers for a secret project.

A source revealed to AppleInsider in February that Musk was seen in deep conversation with Apple's head designer, Jony Ive, at an exclusive Oscars afterparty.

It's also been reported that Apple and Tesla officials have met privately. Musk himself confirmed those talks, but said a sale of his company to Apple is "very unlikely."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 128
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    I'm I the only one who thinks the Tesla fake grille is really ugly?

  • Reply 2 of 128
    [S]Tesla[/S] Apple needs competition.
  • Reply 3 of 128
    mstone wrote: »
    I'm I the only one who thinks the Tesla fake grille is really ugly?

    No. Fake (non-functional) grilles are stupid. (Edit) They're like fake wheel covers.
  • Reply 4 of 128
    h2ph2p Posts: 264member

    Like the new Buick commercials where they can't find the new car because it looks so different... People will see the Tesla on the street and say, "Hey look at the new Buick SUV!" Then turn around and be on their way.

     

    Opps, Tesla. Outta luck.

  • Reply 5 of 128
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,860member
    I think these recent hires should put to rest any lingering doubts about Apple's intentions.
  • Reply 6 of 128
    ronnronn Posts: 320member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    I think these recent hires should put to rest any lingering doubts about Apple's intentions.



    Posters here (and elsewhere) may doubt Apple's intentions. I seriously hope competitors aren't. If so, they'll be just like the smartphone industry at the introduction of the iPhone. I truly believe Apple's car will debut much sooner than many expect.

  • Reply 7 of 128
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    One of the new hires, Megan McLain's updated LinkedIn profile now says:

    Mechanical Design Engineer
    Apple
    March 2015 – Present (6 months)Cupertino, CA
    Still prototyping. Now for Industrial Designers.

    Does anyone really think Apple's industrial designers are prototyping CarPlay on steroids? :no:

    I understand the skepticism. I get that some think it's lunacy for Apple to be designing it's own car. But I think all the signs point to Apple doing exactly that. Of course there's no guarantee this research will ultimately turned into a real car for sale but there's no doubt in my mind that's what Apple is working on. They're not going to be beholden to the whims of automakers. They're going to own the entire widget.
  • Reply 8 of 128
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    I'm I the only one who thinks the Tesla fake grille is really ugly?


     

    That makes two of us.

  • Reply 9 of 128
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    Originally Posted by H2P View Post

     

    ... People will see the Tesla on the street and say, "Hey look at the new Buick SUV!" ...


    Or something like "That's odd.  I thought Oldsmobile went out of business already."

  • Reply 10 of 128
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,860member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    One of the new hires, Megan McLain's updated LinkedIn profile now says:



    Mechanical Design Engineer

    Apple

    March 2015 – Present (6 months)Cupertino, CA

    Still prototyping. Now for Industrial Designers.



    Does anyone really think Apple's industrial designers are prototyping CarPlay on steroids? image



    I understand the skepticism. I get that some think it's lunacy for Apple to be designing it's own car. But I think all the signs point to Apple doing exactly that. Of course there's no guarantee this research will ultimately turned into a real car for sale but there's no doubt in my mind that's what Apple is working on. They're not going to be beholden to the whims of automakers. They're going to own the entire widget.



    I'm onboard with the idea now. All of these huge hires just to test CarPlay integration would make no sense.

     

  • Reply 11 of 128
    calicali Posts: 3,495member

    And ol' Musk was bragging how he was taking Apple's people.

     

    Apple takes his senior engineer.

  • Reply 12 of 128
    mstone wrote: »
    I'm I the only one who thinks the Tesla fake grille is really ugly?

    Why is it fake? Tesla cars have cooling systems as well, that need radiators to dissipate heat. The most obvious location for any radiators are in the front of the vehicle.
  • Reply 13 of 128

    I agree. For an advanced infotainment system you'd still want a variety of engineers of all backgrounds to ensure it works well with the vehicle it's integrated in. But Apple appears to be hiring too many senior engineers for a simple project.
  • Reply 14 of 128
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Of course it's happening. Apple sells products not pieces of technology for other people's products. And why is it that Google is lauded for all these "moon shots" and doing all these different things yet when Apple even slightly veers from making computers or computer software panic sets in? Yet at the same time everyone is worried that Apple is a one trick pony and are constantly complaining about the lack of innovation from Cupertino.
  • Reply 15 of 128
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,294member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Of course it's happening. Apple sells products not pieces of technology for other people's products. And why is it that Google is lauded for all these "moon shots" and doing all these different things yet when Apple even slightly veers from making computers or computer software panic sets in? Yet at the same time everyone is worried that Apple is a one trick pony and are constantly complaining about the lack of innovation from Cupertino.
    IIRC Google was roundly criticised here for even considering self-driving cars. Note that it's not being seen as silly for Apple to do so.
  • Reply 16 of 128
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    IIRC Google was roundly criticised here for even considering self-driving cars. Note that it's not being seen as silly for Apple to do so.
    Yeah but some people here criticize Google for everything and anything. I Wasn't referring to those people. ;)
  • Reply 17 of 128
    shenshen Posts: 434member

    Apple better hurry. I want that Tesla crossover so bad it hurts. If Apple doesn't have a car by the time I need to replace my current auto I am going to have to go with Tesla....

  • Reply 18 of 128
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    IIRC Google was roundly criticised here for even considering self-driving cars. Note that it's not being seen as silly for Apple to do so.

    Mmm. I missed that.

    Did people say it was a silly idea, or did they say it was silly to allow Google to sell yet more information about your life by allowing them to track your movements in a car?
  • Reply 19 of 128
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    Well, I was wrong. I think there's too much evidence to keep insisting that Apple isn't moving into automotives.

    The question is … when?
  • Reply 20 of 128
    I am still not convinced. Most of the hires I read about have to do with hybrid/electric powertrain, battery technology, and research as well as quality. That doesn't make a car yet.
    Apple could be working on a subsystem, maybe an electric Powertrain with significant enhancements in order to create a step change in extending battery range.
    Already systems exist that take GPS and map data as well as driving conditions to increase the battery range by adjusting driving parameters. Apple might take this one step further with tight integration of the apple ecosystem and services.
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