Apple has hired a senior engineer away from Tesla, adding to the considerable stable of engineering and management talent in Apple’s auto project.
While it can’t be confirmed as to what this “Special Projects” might be, Carlson’s hire is just one of the many that Apple has made recently that have some kind of experience developing self-driving cars, thus fueling the rumors that Apple is indeed working on an electric/self-driving vehicle of their own that could potentially end up competing with Tesla.
Whatever Apple is up to, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the company has something big in the works.
The information comes from Reuters, which reports that it reached out to all seven of the individuals, but had no success in doing so.
Since January, Apple has hired Megan McClain, a former Volkswagen AG engineer with expertise in automated driving, and Vinay Palakkode, a graduate researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, a hub of automated driving research.
In August, Apple hired Xianqiao Tong, an engineer who developed computer vision software for driver assistance systems at microchip maker Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O). The business networking page now lists Carlson as an employee in a “special projects group”. Apple, meanwhile, declined commenting on the new apparent hires. Last fall, Apple also hired Sanjai Massey, a Ford engineer who worked on connected and autonomous vehicles, Stefan Weber, a Bosch engineer who worked on driver assistance systems, and Lech Szumilas, a Delphi research scientist with former expertise in autonomous vehicles.