Apple continued to make efforts in car development and hired Christopher "CJ" Moore (Christopher "CJ" Moore), the former director of Tesla's Autopilot. Earlier this year, Moore made a controversial comment on Tesla's Autopilot feature.
The news of Moore’s departure from Tesla was exposed by the media last month when he was the Director of Autopilot Systems. According to people familiar with the matter, Moore has joined Apple’s team responsible for developing self-driving cars and is currently developing self-driving systems, reporting to Stuart Bowers. Bowers is also a former Tesla executive who joined Apple at the end of last year. Before leaving Tesla in mid-2019, Bowers led the Tesla Autopilot team.
This move shows that Apple is advancing an attempt to develop self-driving technology, which is a high-stakes competition between the company and automakers such as Tesla. Moore joined a department known for its secrecy and frequent personnel turnover.
So far, Apple has never publicly announced plans to build a car. The Apple car project is code-named "Titan", and its person in charge, Doug Field, jumped to Ford earlier this year to lead the latter's advanced technology and embedded systems. Today, Apple's automotive division is led by Kevin Lynch, head of Apple Watch operations.
When Moore was still at Tesla, he hinted that the company's CEO Elon Musk had exaggerated the functionality of the Autopilot system. As part of the investigation into Tesla's Autopilot system, officials from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) interviewed Moore earlier this year and asked Moore about what Musk said that Tesla will be able to achieve fully autonomous driving this year.
According to a memo from the DMV outlining the interview, Moore's response implied that Musk's statement was "inconsistent with engineering reality." Over the years, Musk has stated that he believes that Tesla is close to releasing Level 5 autopilot features, which means that cars can drive autonomously without human intervention. Tesla's current autopilot system is at Level 2 and requires the owner to put his hands on the steering wheel.
In 2019, a Florida man died in a car accident while his Tesla car was using Autopilot. Recently, the man’s estate management committee sought to subpoena Moore as a witness in a lawsuit filed against Tesla. The legal documents related to this case were disclosed in October that Moore had resigned from Tesla.
In addition to Moore, there are many former Tesla executives in the Apple car team, including Tesla’s former powertrain supervisor Michael Schwekutsch (Michael Schwekutsch), interior supervisor Steve McManus (Steve MacManus). At the same time, the Apple car team also lost many managers. In addition to Field, the head of robotics Dave Scott (Dave Scott) and the head of security Jaime Waydo (Jaime Waydo) will also leave Apple this year.
Apple has not yet commented.