Apple was added to the list of 29 other companies, including Tesla, Google, Ford and Mercedes, that are testing or planning to test self-driving vehicles in the state of California, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles’s (DMV) website Friday.
The permit allows Apple to test vehicles in autonomous mode on public roads.
It’s unclear if Apple sought to obtain a permit because it wanted to test-drive its own autonomous vehicles or if the company was simply looking to experiment with the rumored autonomous driving features in a future CarPlay version.
Musa Tariq, Apple’s executive, is leaving the company to join Ford, the car maker said Tuesday.
Tariq was Apple’s global marketing and communications director for retail for a little more than two years. At Ford, he will be Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, a new position created as the company focuses on new mobility services.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, is listed as one of the 25 members who joined the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) new Automation Committee. This means that the iPhone maker will play an active role in overseeing self-driving vehicles and helping determine the future of transportation.
Prior to joining Apple in 2013 to lead environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson served as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
According to DOT’s press release Thursday, the new advisory committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting on January 16 to immediately begin work on “some of the most pressing and relevant matters facing transportation today,” including the development and deployment of automated vehicles.
Apple was trying “very hard” (in Elon Musk’s own words) to recruit top talent from Tesla.
Now that its Project Titan has shifted gear from building an electric vehicle to developing an autonomous driving software, some of the engineers associated with the initiative have departed for Tesla.
Just as we’ve discovered that Swift creator Chris Lattner was leaving the iPhone maker to take a position as Vice President of Autopilot Software at Tesla, Electrek.co is reporting that the guy who designed many of Apple’s iconic Macs will now be building Tesla vehicles.
Earlier this year, Apple poached Alexander Hitzinger, the former technical director of Porsche’s race car program who helped the car maker return to the Le Mans endurance race, a company source told Reuters last Friday. The move was first reported by Germany’s Manager Magazin.
Volkswagen-owned Porsche officially confirmed Hitzinger had left the luxury carmaker in the spring, but didn’t share any further information.