Prominent ex-Telsa self-driving car exec leaves Apple for greener pastures
Apple has been working in autonomous car technology since 2014, but has faced a number of notable employee layoffs over the past year. As reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday, the latest is CJ Moore, who had just joined the company last August.
Prior to joining Apple, Moore was the director of Tesla Autopilot, where he worked on autonomous cars, although he contradicted the bold timeline of Tesla CEO Elon Musk for the project when he talk to California regulators. It’s unclear what Moore’s job at Apple has been since he joined the company.
In any case, he is now moving to the company Luminar Technologies, which has been aggressively hiring prominent directors and executives of technology and automotive giants. At Luminar, Moore will lead the development of global software for lidar-based functions to ensure the safety of passengers in autonomous vehicles.
Bloomberg notes that “almost the entire Apple Car management team” has left Apple for the past two years. Other notable departures included project leader Doug Field, who left to join Ford last year. Apple’s vice president of technology, Kevin Lynch, who worked at Adobe before joining Apple in 2013, now directs Apple’s automotive project, which is internally called Project Titan.
While much of Apple focuses on the iPhone and other peripheral products and services, Project Titan is one of Apple’s two biggest efforts to develop a new product category that could be so successful. and disruption such as the introduction of the iPhone.
The other effort is actually mixed. It is reported that Apple is working on VR and AR glasses, which according to recent backstage reports were born in part from the acquisition of a company that made detection technology for autonomous vehicles.
Both the Titan Project and the mixed reality project have experienced many times on the proverbial path, as is often the case with new major R&D projects at the technological frontier. Apple is said to be in the early stages of developing autonomous cars, but several recent reports have claimed that the company’s first mixed reality glasses are moving towards launch.