Apple hires former Google inventor with background in electric vehicle charging

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2016
Another recent Apple hire has been linked to the company's rumored "Project Titan" automotive initiative, as a report on Thursday uncovered a Google patent application for electric vehicle charging systems co-invented by current Apple employee Kurt Adelberger.




Spotted by Quartz, Adelberger is named on a pending Google patent for a "Mediator device for smart electric vehicle charging" alongside three other inventors, including machine learning software engineer Matthew Wytock. According to his LinkedIn profile, Adelberger left Google in July 2015 to join Apple as a "product designer."

Whether Apple poached the former Google inventor for its rumored car endeavor, Project Titan, is unclear. While he is cited in IP related to electric vehicles, Adelberger also conducted research into solar panels and general energy systems during his tenure at the internet search giant, suggesting he might be doing the same at Apple.

Trained as an astrophysicist with degrees from Harvey Mudd College and the California Institute of Technology, Adelberger more recently conducted work on energy storage and methods of lowering electric vehicle charging costs. Today's Google patent application, for example, describes a power management device capable of initiating a charging sequence during off-peak hours to save users money, an invention similar to Tesla's onboard charging timer.

As for Apple, the company is widely rumored to be working on a shadowy automotive initiative, though hard evidence of a branded car product has yet to surface. AppleInsider was first to report on secret R&D facilities in Sunnyvale thought to be ground zero for Project Titan. The most recent rumblings suggest Apple is operating a secret car lab in Berlin with roughly 15 to 20 employees.

Since word of a so-called "Apple Car" broke, Cupertino has hired several industry experts versed in electric and autonomous vehicles such as Jamie Carlson, a former engineer at Tesla Motors, as well as Jonathan Cohen, the former director of deep learning at NVIDIA. Most recently, reports in April noted the hire of former Tesla vice president of engineering Chris Porritt and two automotive prototyping experts.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,100member
    A( I am so insanely excited about Apple's car project.

    B( I can never get over how ridiculously hideous that Google car is. 
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 2 of 21
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    cornchip said:
    A( I am so insanely excited about Apple's car project.

    B( I can never get over how ridiculously hideous that Google car is. 
    Maybe you're just unable to recognize something that is designed purely as a technology testing device.
    edited May 2016 sirlance99singularity
  • Reply 3 of 21
    loquiturloquitur Posts: 103member
    cornchip said:
    A( I am so insanely excited about Apple's car project.

    B( I can never get over how ridiculously hideous that Google car is. 
    Subconsciously, the car shape always reminded me of the determinedly cutesy logo of
    the Bell Laboratories "Plan 9" OS, also remembering that Rob Pike (ex- of Bell Labs) is
    at Google now.   Now something has clicked -- according to Wikipedia, his spouse Renée French
    drew the Plan 9 Bunny (named Glen [or Glenda] after an Ed Wood film, in keeping
    with "Plan 9 from Outer Space").   The Canadian artist/computer mavens, Bell Labs,
    and Google are connected at least via an (un)directed graph, so maybe the design (language?)
    is inspired via such.
    edited May 2016 badmonk
  • Reply 4 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,413member
    Someone wake me when a Google car is actually available for sale to the public. So many of Google's experiments get a lot of press and hype but nothing ever comes of them. Glass comes to mind; lots of press, lots of hype, prototype sales to a limited number of people, and then nothing... gone, rumored to return some day. Then there were the giant barges that appeared and then disappeared. When Apple finally announces a new product you can actually buy it within a reasonable amount of time.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 5 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,413member
    bobschlob said:
    cornchip said:
    A( I am so insanely excited about Apple's car project.

    B( I can never get over how ridiculously hideous that Google car is. 
    Maybe you're just unable to recognize something that is designed purely as a technology testing device.
    That's the problem with Google. They never seem to be able to produce a real product. Everything is experimental, prototypical, in progress, i.e. Glass.
    calijustadcomics
  • Reply 6 of 21
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    lkrupp said:
    bobschlob said:
    Maybe you're just unable to recognize something that is designed purely as a technology testing device.
    That's the problem with Google. They never seem to be able to produce a real product. Everything is experimental, prototypical, in progress, i.e. Glass.
    Agreed.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 883member
    lkrupp said:
    bobschlob said:
    Maybe you're just unable to recognize something that is designed purely as a technology testing device.
    That's the problem with Google. They never seem to be able to produce a real product. Everything is experimental, prototypical, in progress, i.e. Glass.
    It really shows the main difference between Apple and Google, doesn't it? Yet the investors love Google for all of their empty promises. The more promises they give, the higher their share price get. Sometimes I wished Apple just do the same, never mind releasing a real product for public to use.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    ...
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 9 of 21
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 901member
    loquitur said:
    cornchip said:
    A( I am so insanely excited about Apple's car project.

    B( I can never get over how ridiculously hideous that Google car is. 
    Subconsciously, the car shape always reminded me of the determinedly cutesy logo of
    the Bell Laboratories "Plan 9" OS, also remembering that Rob Pike (ex- of Bell Labs) is
    at Google now.   Now something has clicked -- according to Wikipedia, his spouse Renée French
    drew the Plan 9 Bunny (named Glen [or Glenda] after an Ed Wood film, in keeping
    with "Plan 9 from Outer Space").   The Canadian artist/computer mavens, Bell Labs,
    and Google are connected at least via an (un)directed graph, so maybe the design (language?)
    is inspired via such.
    I read somewhere, may have been the oatmeal, that the cuties design was deliberate to make the idea of a computer controlled car seem less threatening.
    Hopefully by the time these things get more real that attitude has gone away.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 10 of 21
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 901member
    lkrupp said:
    bobschlob said:
    Maybe you're just unable to recognize something that is designed purely as a technology testing device.
    That's the problem with Google. They never seem to be able to produce a real product. Everything is experimental, prototypical, in progress, i.e. Glass.
    Come on Glass was just a bad idea to start with.
    How much is the global market in contact lens, laser correction and designer frames, super light lens?
    People pay big bucks not to wear glasses or more big bucks to make them look better if they can't avoid them.
    Glass was always going to flop.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,476member
    lkrupp said:
    Someone wake me when a Google car is actually available for sale to the public. So many of Google's experiments get a lot of press and hype but nothing ever comes of them. Glass comes to mind; lots of press, lots of hype, prototype sales to a limited number of people, and then nothing... gone, rumored to return some day. Then there were the giant barges that appeared and then disappeared. When Apple finally announces a new product you can actually buy it within a reasonable amount of time.

     I don't know if they still exist, but there used to be US laws requiring automobile manufacturers to also manufacture an inventory of spare parts to satisfy 10 years of repairs.

    I can't visualize google doing any type of manufacturing -- not to mention spare parts!



  • Reply 12 of 21
    lukeilukei Posts: 326member
    Electric charging is something that needs a standard connector ASAP. 
    ireland
  • Reply 13 of 21
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,476member

    Ya' know ...

    I never see it mentioned -- the killer, must-have feature of a driverless car is high-speed, reliable, wireless communication -- giving the users something to do while they're not driving.

    edited May 2016
  • Reply 14 of 21
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,476member
    lukei said:
    Electric charging is something that needs a standard connector ASAP. 

    Well ...  They could standardize around a Lightning connector -- then the vehicle could be recharged using an adapter connected to the power outlet (aka cigarette lighter) within the car   :#

    edited May 2016
  • Reply 15 of 21
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,437member
    kevin kee said:
    lkrupp said:
    That's the problem with Google. They never seem to be able to produce a real product. Everything is experimental, prototypical, in progress, i.e. Glass.
    It really shows the main difference between Apple and Google, doesn't it? Yet the investors love Google for all of their empty promises. The more promises they give, the higher their share price get. Sometimes I wished Apple just do the same, never mind releasing a real product for public to use.
    I understand your frustration, but do you really want Apple (who is able to deliver excellent products to 10's of millions of people each quarter), to become more like Google...?

    Note: I think Google has done great in creating the world's best search engine (continuously improving it to increase their lead) and have done the best at monetizing it.  I also greatly appreciate that Google has kept YouTube and expanded it despite it not making money for years, and likely being marginal now.  I consider this a benefit to the world, and thank Google for their charity.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,758member
    brucemc said:
    kevin kee said:
    It really shows the main difference between Apple and Google, doesn't it? Yet the investors love Google for all of their empty promises. The more promises they give, the higher their share price get. Sometimes I wished Apple just do the same, never mind releasing a real product for public to use.
    I understand your frustration, but do you really want Apple (who is able to deliver excellent products to 10's of millions of people each quarter), to become more like Google...?

    Note: I think Google has done great in creating the world's best search engine (continuously improving it to increase their lead) and have done the best at monetizing it.  I also greatly appreciate that Google has kept YouTube and expanded it despite it not making money for years, and likely being marginal now.  I consider this a benefit to the world, and thank Google for their charity.
    Youtube is now so very bad I cringe everytime I use it. I wonder if they're trying to kill it.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,296member

    Ya' know ...

    I never see it mentioned -- the killer, must-have feature of a driverless car is high-speed, reliable, wireless communication -- giving the users something to do while they're not driving.

    High-speed wifi would be a given wouldn't it? Seems integral to vehicle to vehicle communications.

    I think most techs have developed in that area. Here's one from Microsoft
    http://www.google.com/patents/US8457546

    ...and dozens from Google.
    https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=pts&hl=en&q=automobile+wi-fi+inassignee:Google&num=10

    No doubt Apple and hundreds of others have pertinent IP too.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 18 of 21
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,437member
    foggyhill said:
    brucemc said:
    I understand your frustration, but do you really want Apple (who is able to deliver excellent products to 10's of millions of people each quarter), to become more like Google...?

    Note: I think Google has done great in creating the world's best search engine (continuously improving it to increase their lead) and have done the best at monetizing it.  I also greatly appreciate that Google has kept YouTube and expanded it despite it not making money for years, and likely being marginal now.  I consider this a benefit to the world, and thank Google for their charity.
    Youtube is now so very bad I cringe everytime I use it. I wonder if they're trying to kill it.
    Agree the user interface is crap.  But it has such a wealth of content, free to upload & free/ad-supported to consume, that it has completely opened up a new content segment.  And also allows viewing of older content which otherwise would not be available - I watch old documentaries on there all the time.  Like all things, maybe 90% is crap, but it has been a net benefit IMO of opening up more diverse content.  And I thank Google for buying & supporting it.  Right now it would be the one Google service I say is hardest to live without - for me anyways (there are competitive services to all of their other ventures including search, but YouTube is strongest in its segment I believe).
    ireland
  • Reply 19 of 21
    irelandireland Posts: 17,424member
    brucemc said:

    Agree the user interface is crap.  But it has such a wealth of content, free to upload & free/ad-supported to consume, that it has completely opened up a new content segment.  And also allows viewing of older content which otherwise would not be available - I watch old documentaries on there all the time.  Like all things, maybe 90% is crap, but it has been a net benefit IMO of opening up more diverse content.  And I thank Google for buying & supporting it.  Right now it would be the one Google service I say is hardest to live without - for me anyways (there are competitive services to all of their other ventures including search, but YouTube is strongest in its segment I believe).
    Search and YouTube are two services I use all the time. YouTube I find to be invaluable. 
  • Reply 20 of 21
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 720member
    lkrupp said:
    Someone wake me when a Google car is actually available for sale to the public. So many of Google's experiments get a lot of press and hype but nothing ever comes of them. Glass comes to mind; lots of press, lots of hype, prototype sales to a limited number of people, and then nothing... gone, rumored to return some day. Then there were the giant barges that appeared and then disappeared. When Apple finally announces a new product you can actually buy it within a reasonable amount of time.
    or worse, they have something truly revolutionary like the Robots of Boston Dynamics and sell it off.  I suspect they do stuff like this for short term buttressing of their share price but WS seems to be cognitively blind about this.
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