'Apple Car' project loses original project manager Benjamin Lyon

Posted:
in General Discussion
Sensor expert and senior team manager Benjamin Lyon left the "Apple Car" project for a new startup company.

Apple loses key senior manager for 'Apple Car' project
Apple loses key senior manager for 'Apple Car' project


The longtime manager was one of the first members of the Project Titan team and has lasted through its many iterations, until now. The "Apple Car" project has been under heavy industry scrutiny as Apple seeks out manufacturing partners for its eventual launch.

According to Bloomberg, Lyon was one of 11 managers who reported to project vice president Doug Field. The team has gone through many transitions and changes since its inception in 2014.

Apple's Project Titan could be an "Apple Car" or an array of self-driving systems meant for manufacturers to implement into cars. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects an "Apple Car" launch in 2025 at the earliest.

Benjamin Lyon left Apple for a satellite and space startup called Astra. It is unknown why Lyon left, but Apple's Project Titan has been in development for nearly seven years with no released product.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    The amount of noise and seeming churn around this project is insane
    elijahgviclauyyclolliver
  • Reply 2 of 15
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,372member
    The amount of noise and seeming churn around this project is insane
    Yet Apple is confident enough to keep from jumping the gun and producing a shitty product.

    Maybe an Apple Car will never happen, but if it does, it will happen with success.
    StrangeDayslkrupplollivercornchip
  • Reply 3 of 15
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    Maybe he was on the losing end of an internal deliberation.  Maybe he just got burned out.   Maybe the startup offered the intellectual adrenaline rush he craved.   Maybe his sensor stuff was basically “done”. 

    People move for all sorts of reasons. 
    gregoriusmStrangeDayslollivercornchipbyronl
  • Reply 4 of 15
    dk49dk49 Posts: 267member
    I always wonder how these types of departures turn out for the previous company? That Apple employee knows a ton about the Apple Car. And while I am sure he must have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple when he joined, he could always unofficially talk about it to its new employer. In fact, I have a strong feeling that the startup hired him not just because of his experience and skills, but also about what he knows about the project. You could always say that Apple must have filed parents to protect its IP, but then everything is not about patents. Ideas are equally important. Even if he tells the new employer what Apple is planning to do exactly, that could be a a real gem of information for that startup, since they could start building a similar stuff in their car. Thus impacting the uniqueness of Apple Car.
    byronl
  • Reply 5 of 15
    I think someone has Ben Lyon about this Apple Car.
    gregoriusmmacfabulousjdgazcornchipbyronl
  • Reply 6 of 15
    dk49 said:
    I always wonder how these types of departures turn out for the previous company? That Apple employee knows a ton about the Apple Car. And while I am sure he must have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple when he joined, he could always unofficially talk about it to its new employer. In fact, I have a strong feeling that the startup hired him not just because of his experience and skills, but also about what he knows about the project. You could always say that Apple must have filed parents to protect its IP, but then everything is not about patents. Ideas are equally important. Even if he tells the new employer what Apple is planning to do exactly, that could be a a real gem of information for that startup, since they could start building a similar stuff in their car. Thus impacting the uniqueness of Apple Car.
    If I am a boss, I will not hire someone who disclose secret of previous company. Just imagine what he will do to my company after he left.

    Also, once this leaks out, who will hire him in future. This is a end of career move.  
    byronl
  • Reply 7 of 15
    The dude probably got tired of waiting around to see an actual car be produced by Apple.  I realize a company shouldn't rush products but Apple seems to take a long time to complete a product.  I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying Apple should be able to move a bit faster as they have plenty of cash and resources, at least more than most companies.  Oh, well, it's a car and Apple certainly isn't an automaker.  Apple may have bitten off more than it can chew.  Apple is going to need a very good partner for this EV venture.
    elijahg
  • Reply 8 of 15
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    The dude probably got tired of waiting around to see an actual car be produced by Apple.  I realize a company shouldn't rush products but Apple seems to take a long time to complete a product.  I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying Apple should be able to move a bit faster as they have plenty of cash and resources, at least more than most companies.  Oh, well, it's a car and Apple certainly isn't an automaker.  Apple may have bitten off more than it can chew.  Apple is going to need a very good partner for this EV venture.
    Gotta love the negative thinking here. It’s the difference between success and failure in life in general.
    byronl
  • Reply 9 of 15
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    dk49 said:
    I always wonder how these types of departures turn out for the previous company? That Apple employee knows a ton about the Apple Car. And while I am sure he must have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple when he joined, he could always unofficially talk about it to its new employer. In fact, I have a strong feeling that the startup hired him not just because of his experience and skills, but also about what he knows about the project. You could always say that Apple must have filed parents to protect its IP, but then everything is not about patents. Ideas are equally important. Even if he tells the new employer what Apple is planning to do exactly, that could be a a real gem of information for that startup, since they could start building a similar stuff in their car. Thus impacting the uniqueness of Apple Car.
    Except the new company is a “satellite and space” company.  The guy was supposedly an expert in sensors. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 10 of 15
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,824member
    chadbag said:

    Except the new company is a “satellite and space” company.  The guy was supposedly an expert in sensors. 
    Indeed  - https://astra.com/
  • Reply 11 of 15
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,286member
    chadbag said:
    dk49 said:
    I always wonder how these types of departures turn out for the previous company? That Apple employee knows a ton about the Apple Car. And while I am sure he must have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple when he joined, he could always unofficially talk about it to its new employer. In fact, I have a strong feeling that the startup hired him not just because of his experience and skills, but also about what he knows about the project. You could always say that Apple must have filed parents to protect its IP, but then everything is not about patents. Ideas are equally important. Even if he tells the new employer what Apple is planning to do exactly, that could be a a real gem of information for that startup, since they could start building a similar stuff in their car. Thus impacting the uniqueness of Apple Car.
    Except the new company is a “satellite and space” company.  The guy was supposedly an expert in sensors. 
    Techcrunch has a revealing article explaining it. 
    https://techcrunch.com/2021/02/17/astra-hires-longtime-apple-veteran-benjamin-lyon-as-chief-engineer/?tpcc=ECTW2020
  • Reply 12 of 15
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    gatorguy said:
    chadbag said:
    dk49 said:
    I always wonder how these types of departures turn out for the previous company? That Apple employee knows a ton about the Apple Car. And while I am sure he must have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple when he joined, he could always unofficially talk about it to its new employer. In fact, I have a strong feeling that the startup hired him not just because of his experience and skills, but also about what he knows about the project. You could always say that Apple must have filed parents to protect its IP, but then everything is not about patents. Ideas are equally important. Even if he tells the new employer what Apple is planning to do exactly, that could be a a real gem of information for that startup, since they could start building a similar stuff in their car. Thus impacting the uniqueness of Apple Car.
    Except the new company is a “satellite and space” company.  The guy was supposedly an expert in sensors. 
    Techcrunch has a revealing article explaining it. 
    https://techcrunch.com/2021/02/17/astra-hires-longtime-apple-veteran-benjamin-lyon-as-chief-engineer/?tpcc=ECTW2020
    Thanks.  That was interesting.  A company to keep an eye on. 
  • Reply 13 of 15
    dk49 said:
    I always wonder how these types of departures turn out for the previous company? That Apple employee knows a ton about the Apple Car. And while I am sure he must have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple when he joined, he could always unofficially talk about it to its new employer. In fact, I have a strong feeling that the startup hired him not just because of his experience and skills, but also about what he knows about the project. You could always say that Apple must have filed parents to protect its IP, but then everything is not about patents. Ideas are equally important. Even if he tells the new employer what Apple is planning to do exactly, that could be a a real gem of information for that startup, since they could start building a similar stuff in their car. Thus impacting the uniqueness of Apple Car.
    This one is not a problem. He is going to a company developing technology for commercial satellite deployment in space. 
  • Reply 14 of 15
    dk49 said:
    I always wonder how these types of departures turn out for the previous company? That Apple employee knows a ton about the Apple Car. And while I am sure he must have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple when he joined, he could always unofficially talk about it to its new employer. In fact, I have a strong feeling that the startup hired him not just because of his experience and skills, but also about what he knows about the project. You could always say that Apple must have filed parents to protect its IP, but then everything is not about patents. Ideas are equally important. Even if he tells the new employer what Apple is planning to do exactly, that could be a a real gem of information for that startup, since they could start building a similar stuff in their car. Thus impacting the uniqueness of Apple Car.
    Ok, now turn that around to Apple when they hire people on from other companies. Will you still say the same thing?
  • Reply 15 of 15
    1348513485 Posts: 354member
    dk49 said:
    I always wonder how these types of departures turn out for the previous company? That Apple employee knows a ton about the Apple Car. And while I am sure he must have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple when he joined, he could always unofficially talk about it to its new employer. In fact, I have a strong feeling that the startup hired him not just because of his experience and skills, but also about what he knows about the project. You could always say that Apple must have filed parents to protect its IP, but then everything is not about patents. Ideas are equally important. Even if he tells the new employer what Apple is planning to do exactly, that could be a a real gem of information for that startup, since they could start building a similar stuff in their car. Thus impacting the uniqueness of Apple Car.
    Ok, now turn that around to Apple when they hire people on from other companies. Will you still say the same thing?
    Yes, if it applies to proprietary information from the previous company. Companies are quite sensitive about this since the likelihood of being sued is usually not worth it.
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