Apple poaches Tesla car designer Andrew Kim

Posted:
in General Discussion
Tesla Senior Designer Andrew Kim has started working for Apple, and is only the most recent move back to the company after a stint with the car manufacturer.

Tesla Roadster 2 interior
Tesla Roadster 2 interior


While at Tesla, Kim was primarily a vehicle interior designer, focusing not just on the aesthetics of the car, but on the dashboard layout as well. He worked on the Roadster 2, the Semi, plus Models S,X,Y, and 3

Kim was hired for design by Microsoft in 2012, after re-envisioning Microsoft's Windows design. He left for Tesla in 2015, and started with Apple earlier in December. Kim isn't a lone move in potentially populating its vehicle project, however.

In August, reports emerged that Apple had stepped up its poaching activities involving Tesla employees, luring away manufacturing, security and software engineers, and supply chain experts. The accounts claimed that some were sent to the "Project Titan" self-driving car initiative, with others redirected to other products.

Apple is ostensibly building out its Project Titan team with hires including former Tesla Autopilot, quality assurance, powertrain, mechanical design and firmware engineers, but the company is also adding manufacturing experts to its ranks.

According to a current Tesla employee who kept in touch with former colleagues, Apple appears to be placing renewed emphasis on manufacturing processes and equipment. The company outsources production to firms like Foxconn, but still offers input on new processes and techniques, as well as other areas of manufacture.

Other recent Tesla converts specialize in software, display, optics and battery technology, areas that apply to a wide range of Apple's product lineup. One Tesla engineer said former Tesla workers were attracted by better compensation, Apple leadership versus the culture at Tesla, and the tech giant's products.

Tesla founder Elon Musk, once called Apple the "Tesla graveyard," is also the cause of recent instability in his company's stock. Rants on social media, public takedowns during earnings calls, marijuana smoking on a videocast, and an August tweet about taking Tesla private have all contributed to a dip in share prices.

Kim will likely join Mac hardware engineer Doug Field who returned to Apple in August after a nearly five-year stint as Tesla's Senior Vice President of Engineering. Field is reportedly working on Project Titan under Bob Mansfield, who previously served as Apple's SVP of hardware engineering.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    trashman69racerhomie3cornchipjony0
  • Reply 2 of 18
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,040moderator
    Lots of roles to fill.  Should be interesting watching this space over the next couple years. 
  • Reply 3 of 18
    GG1GG1 Posts: 247member
    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    Can Apple be another Bosch (major supplier to many automotive subsystems to the OEMs, such as ABS) in the auto industry? Most likely not, it takes many years to foster a close relationship with the OEMs to allow "outside" subsystems in OEM cars. The OEMs are already wary of CarPlay and AndroidAuto (remember Toyota's holdout?).

    So Apple may have to go it alone for its own complete car. Tesla started from scratch with the INTENT to make a complete car. We don't know if Apple had the same original intent.
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 18
    I hope he didn’t design that steering wheel...
    StrangeDayspatchythepirateYvLy
  • Reply 5 of 18
    GG1 said:
    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    Can Apple be another Bosch (major supplier to many automotive subsystems to the OEMs, such as ABS) in the auto industry? Most likely not, it takes many years to foster a close relationship with the OEMs to allow "outside" subsystems in OEM cars. The OEMs are already wary of CarPlay and AndroidAuto (remember Toyota's holdout?).

    So Apple may have to go it alone for its own complete car. Tesla started from scratch with the INTENT to make a complete car. We don't know if Apple had the same original intent.
    I see it as Apple will get into the “transportation business”, not the car business. Many of the younger generation are OK with skipping car ownership in favor of being catered to by Uber and Lyft services instead of taking on the responsibility of car ownership and expenses.
    patchythepiratecornchip
  • Reply 6 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,591member
    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?

    You ask the same question every year. 

    And what's even more unbelievable, whenever you ask the same question, you ask it in response to an article about Apple's car efforts. So next time, before you ask "when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else's hardware", take a moment, look at the subject of the thread, and think.

    edited December 2018 pscooter63
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,591member

    GG1 said:
    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    Can Apple be another Bosch (major supplier to many automotive subsystems to the OEMs, such as ABS) in the auto industry? Most likely not, it takes many years to foster a close relationship with the OEMs to allow "outside" subsystems in OEM cars. The OEMs are already wary of CarPlay and AndroidAuto (remember Toyota's holdout?).

    So Apple may have to go it alone for its own complete car. Tesla started from scratch with the INTENT to make a complete car. We don't know if Apple had the same original intent.
    I see it as Apple will get into the “transportation business”, not the car business. Many of the younger generation are OK with skipping car ownership in favor of being catered to by Uber and Lyft services instead of taking on the responsibility of car ownership and expenses.
    Agreed.

    The kids don't have the same attachment to 'ownership' as their parents. They don't feel the need to own a house (which is just as well because none of them can afford it); they don't feel the need to "own" their musical content (which is just as well because they never really did). What they want is something that can get them to Point A to Point B within a few minutes of requesting it. 

    I think the kids today can't really see the point of spending thousands on something that loses a serious chunk of its value as soon as leaves the showroom, and then spends about 90% of its useful life not actually moving.

    http://fortune.com/2016/03/13/cars-parked-95-percent-of-time/

    Though the article disagrees.
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 8 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    marijuana smoking on a videocast

    Give me a break, ffs. He took one puff and didn't inhale. Pure political nonsense.

    And yet after all the information regarding these happenings some people will still postulate Apple are not making a car.
    edited December 2018 JWSCcornchip
  • Reply 9 of 18
    I’m curious where he was hired into at Apple. His LinkedIn page only says he’s a designer at Apple. Doesn’t say what area of the company he works in.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    But can't build a decent Mac Pro...
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    Still not convinced that Apple will make their own car since that would require the use of windows
    LordeHawkJWSC
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    Still not convinced that Apple will make their own car since that would require the use of windows
    Unless the “windows” are all simulated.

    By the way, yes, I know you were making a Microsoft joke. :)
  • Reply 13 of 18
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,725member
    donjuan said:
    But can't build a decent Mac Pro...
    Apple has to focus on Priorities: A new generation of AirPods and AirPower.  
  • Reply 14 of 18
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,725member

    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    It does seem apparent that Apple is gearing up for its own car.   If they haven't developed their own car or SUV they probably have wasted Billions on this.    Its a good thing they have 100's of Billion in the Bank.   In general I would think that they are very far behind Tesla but there's still time to leap frog the old ICE manufacturers.    

    I think the one way they could make an impact and race ahead of most manufacturers is by developing miniaturized LIDAR that would work on their cars without an ugly hump on the roof.    This might enable them to deliver a very popular self driving hardware/software system.   Apple certainly has their fans and could sell a car starting and 50-60K and still sell 100,000 the first year.    Hopefully they are going electric otherwise their vehicle may be seen as having old tech to begin with.

    Apple can be a contender, but Tesla will be the Champ.   They have an innovative and driven leader which Apple is far from having.
    I would not be surprised if Jeff Bezos announce a Prime Car before Apple gets to it. 



  • Reply 15 of 18
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,059member
    Rayz2016 said:

    GG1 said:
    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    Can Apple be another Bosch (major supplier to many automotive subsystems to the OEMs, such as ABS) in the auto industry? Most likely not, it takes many years to foster a close relationship with the OEMs to allow "outside" subsystems in OEM cars. The OEMs are already wary of CarPlay and AndroidAuto (remember Toyota's holdout?).

    So Apple may have to go it alone for its own complete car. Tesla started from scratch with the INTENT to make a complete car. We don't know if Apple had the same original intent.
    I see it as Apple will get into the “transportation business”, not the car business. Many of the younger generation are OK with skipping car ownership in favor of being catered to by Uber and Lyft services instead of taking on the responsibility of car ownership and expenses.
    Agreed.

    The kids don't have the same attachment to 'ownership' as their parents. They don't feel the need to own a house (which is just as well because none of them can afford it); they don't feel the need to "own" their musical content (which is just as well because they never really did). What they want is something that can get them to Point A to Point B within a few minutes of requesting it. 

    I think the kids today can't really see the point of spending thousands on something that loses a serious chunk of its value as soon as leaves the showroom, and then spends about 90% of its useful life not actually moving.

    http://fortune.com/2016/03/13/cars-parked-95-percent-of-time/

    Though the article disagrees.
    Until they have Kids and the car becomes a travelling mini-house that can deal with many of the day to day stresses parents face. They'll  then want the best of both worlds but the Uber model won't be able to adopt to that. Some part of the car still might be parked 95% of time but other parts still shared.
    JWSC
  • Reply 16 of 18
    k2kw said:

    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    It does seem apparent that Apple is gearing up for its own car.   If they haven't developed their own car or SUV they probably have wasted Billions on this.    Its a good thing they have 100's of Billion in the Bank.   In general I would think that they are very far behind Tesla but there's still time to leap frog the old ICE manufacturers.    

    I think the one way they could make an impact and race ahead of most manufacturers is by developing miniaturized LIDAR that would work on their cars without an ugly hump on the roof.    This might enable them to deliver a very popular self driving hardware/software system.   Apple certainly has their fans and could sell a car starting and 50-60K and still sell 100,000 the first year.    Hopefully they are going electric otherwise their vehicle may be seen as having old tech to begin with.

    Apple can be a contender, but Tesla will be the Champ.   They have an innovative and driven leader which Apple is far from having.
    I would not be surprised if Jeff Bezos announce a Prime Car before Apple gets to it. 



    An Amazon car service? If there’s money to be made in it, I suspect you could be right. Amazon may make moves in that direction at some point.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 424member
    mattinoz said:
    Rayz2016 said:

    GG1 said:
    Anyone who doesn’t think Project Titan will eventually result in a vehicle of some sort is nuts. Apple needs another big revenue generator and software licensing to an existing automaker isn’t it. Besides when has Apple ever been successful putting their software in someone else’s hardware?
    Can Apple be another Bosch (major supplier to many automotive subsystems to the OEMs, such as ABS) in the auto industry? Most likely not, it takes many years to foster a close relationship with the OEMs to allow "outside" subsystems in OEM cars. The OEMs are already wary of CarPlay and AndroidAuto (remember Toyota's holdout?).

    So Apple may have to go it alone for its own complete car. Tesla started from scratch with the INTENT to make a complete car. We don't know if Apple had the same original intent.
    I see it as Apple will get into the “transportation business”, not the car business. Many of the younger generation are OK with skipping car ownership in favor of being catered to by Uber and Lyft services instead of taking on the responsibility of car ownership and expenses.
    Agreed.

    The kids don't have the same attachment to 'ownership' as their parents. They don't feel the need to own a house (which is just as well because none of them can afford it); they don't feel the need to "own" their musical content (which is just as well because they never really did). What they want is something that can get them to Point A to Point B within a few minutes of requesting it. 

    I think the kids today can't really see the point of spending thousands on something that loses a serious chunk of its value as soon as leaves the showroom, and then spends about 90% of its useful life not actually moving.

    http://fortune.com/2016/03/13/cars-parked-95-percent-of-time/

    Though the article disagrees.
    Until they have Kids and the car becomes a travelling mini-house that can deal with many of the day to day stresses parents face. They'll  then want the best of both worlds but the Uber model won't be able to adopt to that. Some part of the car still might be parked 95% of time but other parts still shared.
    Bingo!  My wife describes her car as a second house, with food and water, multiple changes of clothes, sporting goods, study area, and kid sanitizing things of all sorts.  That’s not going to work well for Uber or Lyft.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,311member
    JWSC said:
    Bingo!  My wife describes her car as a second house, with food and water, multiple changes of clothes, sporting goods, study area, and kid sanitizing things of all sorts.  That’s not going to work well for Uber or Lyft.


    I cal my wife’s the “Mo-bo Camp” — short for Mobile Hobo Camp, or Motorized Hobo Camp. 

    Anyway back on topic, Apple is clearly working on some kind of wheel to sunroof automotive concept of some sort and not just the software & electronic microarchitecture system of a car. 

    That much is is plainly obvious. Anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly deluding themselves. 

    What isnt obvious, is what kind of vehicle it might be, what the ultimate purpose is, how it will be marketed, what it will look like etc. 

    On a saddish side note it would break Apple’s infamous “all our products fit on one table” schtik. But then again, all their other products might fit in the trunk of an  Car. 

    Completely back off-topic - the new two-finger tap&hold keyboard feature is great for deleting large chunks of text on this horrible-on-iOS  dabblern forum.
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