Friday, May 20, 2022
Ios/Mac

Another Apple Car engineer quits, this time, joining Meta


Another Apple Car engineer quits, this time, joining Meta

Okay, so far, we’ve had a lot of information about the reported turnover at Apple‘s mysterious project for self-driving vehicles. Many engineers have reportedly left the project to join other firms. Now, AppleInsider reports about yet another Apple Car engineer leaving the company, and this time, he will be joining Meta (former Facebook).

Yet another Apple Car engineer leaves, joins Meta

The long-rumored project for a self-driving car from Apple seems to be having a lot of setbacks recently, mainly due to losing engineering managers and other key staff and an overall quite consistent employee turnover.

It seems this pattern is continuing in 2022. This time, it’s the head of software engineering of Apple Car, Joe Bass, who has reportedly left Cupertino to go join Meta. Joe Bass was the Lead Engineering Program Manager for Autonomous Systems over at Apple since the beginning of 2015. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has now left Apple for a new start.

His new position is Director of Technical Program Management, Mixed Reality Technologies over at Meta (formerly Facebook). The departure of Bass comes after several other engineers did the same back in December, with a majority of them seemingly going to air-taxi startup Archer Aviation, and another similar company, Joby Aviation.

The Apple Car Project: how is it going?

Keep in mind that the Apple Car project is still just rumored, and has not had an official announcement. The most recent news about it is the report that the company is looking to announce its key partners for the project sometime this year. This information is coming from South Korean sources: it seems Cupertino has been looking into South Korean carmakers to possibly strike a deal with them for Apple Car components. This information seems to indicate Apple has plans to ship an Apple Car by 2025. The possible announcement of the partnerships could give us more information about the time frame in which we expect to see this ever-so-mysterious self-driving car. And from this high level of turnover, one can not help but assume things aren’t going exactly according to plan for the Apple Car.

This image is a part of the newly-created Apple Car renders that we reported on earlier, coming from British car leasing firm Vanarama, and of course, they are based on patents filed by Apple plus previously released Apple devices.

It is, indeed, a very early stage to know for sure if the Apple Car will look anything like the image shown above, but it looks cool, don’t you agree?

Apple Car turnover has been really high recently

There have been many people leaving and joining the supposed Apple Car project in recent months, especially in November and December of last year. Some of its key engineers have been leaving to join air taxi startup companies, while other ex-Tesla engineers have joined to take their place.

Just to name a few, Eric Rogers, who was Apple’s chief engineer for radar systems for the project for the self-driving vehicle has left to go join Joby Aviation Inc, a flying taxi startup. Alex Clarabut, who was an engineering manager for the team’s battery systems group, has now joined Archer Aviation, another company working on air taxis.

The third person who recently left Apple is Stephen Spiteri, who was a hardware engineering manager, and he has also gone ahead and joined Archer. The two flying taxis companies have confirmed the appointments.

All these staff changes serve to show how many challenges the Cupertino tech giant is facing as it is expanding into an entirely new industry. Of course, building and selling a self-driving car represents a massive new sales opportunity, one of its famous “next big thing”. We will see how Apple will face the challenges coming with it.



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