Apple hires a satnav expert who holds a patent for preventing car collisions

Apple CarPlay (Honda, Apple Maps 001)

Revered software engineer Sinisa Durekovic has joined Apple in an unspecified role in October, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing sources.

Durekovic was charged with managing the development of advanced satellite navigation systems used by luxury carmakers such as BMW AG, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG’s Audi, suggesting another possible mapping push for the Cupertino giant.

A-player in satellite navigation

“Durekovic had been working in the Munich suburb of Garching, close to BMW’s headquarters in the city, before relocating to the San Francisco area when he joined Apple last year, according to his LinkedIn profile,” reads the article.

The engineer started out in 1994 at Navigon GmbH, a global positioning system company now owned by Garmin Ltd. He has spent more than 20 years working in various roles developing satellite navigation software and holds a patent on a system that uses mapping data to prevent car collisions.

The iPhone maker wouldn’t comment on Durekovic’s hiring.

Sinisa Durekovic LinkedIn profile

Durekovic was also principal architect and chief engineer for navigation at Harman International Industries.

Project Titan connection

Apple’s latest hire may or may not have something to do with its rumored electric car, dubbed Project Titan. If so, Apple may have tasked him with developing an automotive navigation system for its own electric vehicle project.

Even if that’s not the case, one thing is certain: hiring a satellite navigation expert should definitely help the iPhone maker improve its Maps service, which could see some major improvements at WWDC later this month.

On a similar note, Apple recently invested a cool $1 billion in Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing which could give it access to mapping and vehicle data in the huge 1.33 billion people market.

Tim Cook Didi Chuxing Jean Liu image 001

And last month, Tim Cook during his trip to India said his company would open a 4,000-employee center in Hyderabad dedicated to Maps development.

Image: Maps app on Apple’s CarPlay in a Honda.

Source: Bloomberg