CARS

Apple poaches senior self-driving engineer from Waymo

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Apple Inc. hired a senior self-driving car engineer from Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo unit, Apple said on Friday, a sign that the iPhone maker maintains autonomous vehicle ambitions.

Apple hired Jaime Waydo, previously a systems engineer at Waymo, Apple said, confirming a report by tech news website The Information.

“We wish Jaime well in her next endeavor,” Waymo said in a statement.

Before joining Waymo, Waydo was a longtime engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, according to her LinkedIn profile. At Waymo, she oversaw systems engineering – the process of ensuring hardware and software work well together – and helped make key decisions about when to remove human safety drivers from the company’s test fleet in Arizona, The Information reported.

Photo credit: REUTERS

Apple has been tight-lipped about its efforts in the development of self-driving cars, although CEO Tim Cook has called it “the mother of all AI projects.”

The company has not made public any products related to self-driving cars but has made a number of moves indicating that it has an interest in the technology.

It has obtained permits to test self-driving cars in California and published research about how self-driving cars could better detect pedestrians and cyclists.

In April, Apple said that it had hired John Giannandrea, who previously served as Google’s top artificial intelligence executive.

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