Tesla has announced that is has poached Apple exec Chris Lattner to join as its vice president of Autopilot Software.
The appointment is a major coup for Tesla as Lattner has been key to much of Apple's software success of the last few years, especially as he was responsible for creating the new Swift programming language.
Lattner first gave notice that he was leaving Apple with a post on the Swift community forums, explaining that he would be stepping down from the position of project lead.
"This recogniszes the incredible effort he has already been putting into the project, and reflects a decision I've made to leave Apple later this month to pursue an opportunity in another space.
This was later confirmed in a blog post Tesla to be a role at the car company."Chris's reputation for engineering excellence is well known. He comes to Tesla after 11 years at Apple where he was primarily responsible for creating Swift, the programming language for building apps on Apple platforms and one of the fastest growing languages for doing so on Linux," Tesla said.
"Prior to Apple, Chris was lead author of the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure, an open source umbrella project that is widely used in commercial products and academic research today. We are very excited that Chris is joining Tesla to lead our Autopilot engineering team and accelerate the future of autonomous driving."
The decision by Lattner to leave Apple for Tesla is intriguing, as it opens up the possibility that Apple is not working on the long-rumoured Apple Car, meaning the approach from Tesla was more appealing.
It also shows that despite being the biggest company in the world, Apple cannot guarantee that its most important will stay loyal, and up-and-coming players have the potential to tempt them away.
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