Three of Apple’s self-driving car executives departed the company in the past few months, according to a report from Bloomberg. The move poses more questions than it provides answers as it remains rather mysterious what Apple has up its sleeve for the automotive industry.
Apple did not immediately return a request for comment on the news, but according to the report, the self-driving car team lost Dave Scott, Jaime Waydo and Benjamin Lyon. Lyon was part of the original car team years ago and the company tasked him with the project’s long-term development. He departed the company for Astra, a firm focused on space satellite launches. Scott’s exit removes him from leading the team’s robotics division, while Waydo will no longer oversee the autonomous car safety and regulations teams. Leading the entire project is Tesla veteran Doug Field, who remains in his post.
For years now, Apple’s been rumored to have some sort of automotive project in the works. First came the Apple Car so many want to see. A physical car would by far be a splashier introduction. However, last decade, the division reportedly folded and Project Titan, as we knew it, supposedly died. Instead, Apple reportedly wanted to focus on self-driving car software, which saw the three higher-profile departures in recent months.
However, earlier this year, a physical Apple Car entered the rumor mill again as the tech giant was reportedly close to signing a deal with Hyundai Motor to build the vehicle. The Korean automaker later confirmed it was no longer in discussions with Apple. So far, it’s been rather quiet since then.
We’ll have to wait and see if Apple does want to bring a physical car to market, or perhaps lean heavily on developing software for future autonomous cars. If there is an actual car coming, don’t look for it before the middle of this decade, according to some analysts.
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