Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not at all disturbed by the rumors that Apple could be working on an electric car. The rumors started when it hired several ex-Tesla employees, and when asked to comment, Musk referred to Apple as a “Tesla graveyard.” The tables seem to have turned now, as Musk is robbing the graveyard.
A big win for Tesla
In a blog post on Tuesday, the EV firm said it has hired Apple veteran Chris Lattner. Lattner has worked with the iPhone maker for 11 years and played an important role in creating Swift, the programming language used to build apps on Apple platforms.
During his stint at Apple, Lattner not only developed Swift but also led a successful push to make the programming language open source, which means developers are able to incorporate it into their apps without having to pay fees to Apple. It was a first for Apple, which is known for tightly controlling the technology it creates.
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At Tesla, Lattner will handle the responsibility of developing the Autopilot self-driving car program. The Apple veteran replaces Jinnah Hosein, who is SpaceX’s vice president of software and was overseeing Tesla’s Autopilot on an interim basis. Hosein “has been serving a dual role as the interim Vice President of Tesla Autopilot Software and will now be heading back to SpaceX full-time,” the post read.
Now that Tesla has hired a high-profile figure for a position that was in need of a full-time leader, it marks a significant win .
Massive potential for autonomous tech
Several automakers are looking forward to the arrival of an autonomous car future. For this purpose, a growing number of them, like Audi, Volvo etc., and suppliers like NVIDIA, Mobileye, and Intel and tech companies like Uber, Apple, etc., are making huge investments in the segment.
Tesla vehicles come with a hardware and software system called Autopilot. It allows self-driving in some situations but warns drivers to always have their hands on the steering wheel.
Tesla’s new Model S and Model X vehicles come equipped with an array of radar, camera and laser sensors, offering drivers a fully autonomous driving experience. Autopilot comes with limited features currently, but as and when technology proves itself in testing, Musk plans to gradually roll out more self-driving capabilities.
On Tuesday, Tesla shares closed down 0.61% at $229.87. Year to date, the stock is up almost 8%, while in the last year, it is up almost 9%.