Apple nabs ex-Waymo senior self-driving engineer

Adam Westlake - Jun 16, 2018, 10:00 am CDT
Apple nabs ex-Waymo senior self-driving engineer

It’s been some time since we’ve heard about Apple’s code-named Project Titan, the autonomous driving project that is believed to have originally included development on an actual vehicle but was scaled back several years ago to focus on self-driving software. It seems work on the project is still moving forward at a somewhat steady pace, and it may even have gotten a nice boost with Apple confirming that it’s hired a senior engineer from Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle division.

That senior engineer is Jaime Waydo, reports The Information, who served at Waymo as the head of systems engineering. According to former colleagues, Waydo was “instrumental” in the development of Waymo’s autonomous vehicle prototypes, and was in charge of safety on their road tests in Phoenix in 2016.

While Apple has confirmed the hiring, the company declined to give details on what Waydo would be working on. Many in the autonomous driving industry believe Waydo could bolster Apple’s self-driving project, which has previously been criticized for poor communication among teams and a lack of direction. There’s also hope that the hiring could push the project closer to a prototype vehicle.

Before Waymo, Waydo spent over a decade at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, working as a senior engineer on rover vehicle projects. As for Apple, since 2017 Project Titan has been suing Lexus SUVs with self-driving software for testing, with a modest expansion of their fleet in January of this year.

SOURCE The Information

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