(By Paul Lienert and Julia Love, Reuters) – Consumer electronics company Apple has hired a senior engineer from electric car maker Tesla Motors, according to a LinkedIn posting, as part of Apple’s effort to build a team of experts in automated driving.
A LinkedIn profile for Jamie Carlson shows that he has left Tesla and moved to Apple. At least six others with experience developing self-driving technology and systems have joined Apple, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
Attempts to reach all seven people were unsuccessful and Apple declined to comment.
Sources have said that Apple is developing a car and studying self-driving technology, but it is unclear if the iPhone maker is designing a vehicle that could drive itself.
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.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple hired Paul Furgale, former deputy director of the Autonomous Systems Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, earlier this year.
So-called advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, handle tasks such as keeping a vehicle in a lane or driving by itself in stop-and-go traffic, and they are considered the building blocks for self-driving cars.
According to Carlson’s LinkedIn profile, he joined Apple in August in an unnamed position in a special projects group.
Through July, Carlson was an engineer on Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving car program, and before that he worked on automotive vision systems for Michigan-based supplier Gentex Corp.
Other Apple hires since September 2014 with similar experience have worked at automakers BMW AG <BMWG.DE>, Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co, automotive suppliers Delphi Automotive, Robert Bosch GmbH [ROBG.UL] and TRW, now a part of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
Among those hired last fall were Sanjai Massey, an engineer with experience in developing connected and automated vehicles at Ford and several suppliers; Stefan Weber, a former Bosch engineer with experience in video-based driver assistance systems, and Lech Szumilas, a former Delphi research scientist with expertise in computer vision and object detection.
(Editing by Peter Henderson and Matthew Lewis)