Apple recruits engineers from Berlin-based automotive mapping firm Here

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Apple has poached at least six engineers from Berlin-based mapping company Here -- owned by German automotive firms Audi, BMW, and Daimler -- and may have a Maps team based in the city, according to a report.




Recruits from Here include a director, two product managers, two senior software engineers, and regional map and content lead for eastern Europe, Business Insider said on Wednesday. While some of the defections date back to 2015, and in one case August 2014, one of the senior software engineers -- Khang Tran -- made the switch just this month.

The hires have refused to comment on what they're working on, and it's uncertain if a Maps team or office exists in Berlin. On their LinkedIn profiles, though, four of the people are listed as working with the Maps division.

Germany's capital would be a natural location for a Maps office, given the city's tech industry and labor pool. It might also be a good place to connect with German automakers, both for CarPlay and if Apple decides to partner with an existing company on a future electric car.

Though the Maps hires may not be connected, in April, a report claimed that Apple had a secret Berlin car lab with 15 to 20 people from the German automotive industry. The facility is allegedly an incubator for vehicle ideas, including manufacturing partnerships and regulatory issues.

Apple's electric car project, known by the codename Titan, is currently believed to be in limbo. The company is concentrating primarily on self-driving systems rather than a car design, and is only expected to settle on building its own car or partnering with an existing manufacturer in late 2017.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    They're going to need all the help they can get.
    Yesterday, I couldn't get Maps to find an address on Park Ave in NYC.
    cali
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Good luck with getting help from Here.  As bad as Apple Maps are (almost totally useless here in central Kentucky) Here is even worse.  I own a 2014 Dodge Durango with the fancy navigation system built-in.  Last map update was Oct. 15 (at cost of $149) and it only updated the maps to 4th quarter/2013.  Thus I am driving around in a vehicle with a fancy looking but very out of date nav system (that also gives very odd instructions when I do attempt to use it).  I find myself relying on my Garmin dedicated GPS and Google Maps for directions.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    kyjd75 said:
    Good luck with getting help from Here.  As bad as Apple Maps are (almost totally useless here in central Kentucky) Here is even worse.  I own a 2014 Dodge Durango with the fancy navigation system built-in.  Last map update was Oct. 15 (at cost of $149) and it only updated the maps to 4th quarter/2013.  Thus I am driving around in a vehicle with a fancy looking but very out of date nav system (that also gives very odd instructions when I do attempt to use it).  I find myself relying on my Garmin dedicated GPS and Google Maps for directions.
    Good for your then cause Google maps around here still has a road with the bad name 5 years after I told them to change them first....
    Almost thinking someone is trolling and changing it back!
    cali
  • Reply 4 of 7
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Building a car.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Mikeymike said:
    They're going to need all the help they can get.
    Yesterday, I couldn't get Maps to find an address on Park Ave in NYC.


    My friend had the same problem with Google Maps the other day, but our anecdotal examples are irrelevant.  In terms of accuracy, they are equivalent, that's why Apple Maps is gets used over 5 billion, yes that's billion, times a week and is used vastly more often on iPhone than Google Maps, even though Google Maps is a free 60 second or less app download.  
    jSnivelypatchythepirateStrangeDayscali
  • Reply 6 of 7
    Can't deny that the Apple Maps guidance software is better than Google--just that it's maps are not.  Here in Kentucky we have a new four lane highway between Elizabethtown and Radcliff (Ft. Knox) that has been open for over 2 years.  Appeared on Garmin, Google and Waze almost instantly.  Still not on Apple Maps nor my Durango (Here).  Billion dollars worth of new bridges across the Ohio River in Louisville.  Yep, they're on Google, Garmin and Waze, but on Apple and Here you're just in deep water.  I can go on and on about how bad these maps are for Kentucky (a State I realize folks in California don't much care about).  
    tycho24
  • Reply 7 of 7
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 204member
    kyjd75 said:
    Can't deny that the Apple Maps guidance software is better than Google--just that it's maps are not.  Here in Kentucky we have a new four lane highway between Elizabethtown and Radcliff (Ft. Knox) that has been open for over 2 years.  Appeared on Garmin, Google and Waze almost instantly.  Still not on Apple Maps nor my Durango (Here).  Billion dollars worth of new bridges across the Ohio River in Louisville.  Yep, they're on Google, Garmin and Waze, but on Apple and Here you're just in deep water.  I can go on and on about how bad these maps are for Kentucky (a State I realize folks in California don't much care about).  
    That's about as bad as an issue I had with Google and Apple maps a few years ago in McKinney, Texas. Both swore up and down that I should proceed straight through an intersection. The intersection in question was a T, and if I had gone straight, I would have been driving through someone's living room. The neighborhood had been built in the 70s, and it didn't look like there had ever been a street there. The adjacent streets were correct, but both Google and Apple showed a street there that did not exist.

    Garmin and Magellan both got it right. I didn't have any other mapmakers' maps handy to check at the time. I'll have to see if I can find that intersection again.
    edited December 2016
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