New details have apparently emerged about Apple's rumored car project, specifically, the team that's been assembled to design and build the vehicle. The team, headed by Vice President of Product Design and former Ford executive Steve Zadesky, is composed of several people hired directly from the auto industry, including hardware experts from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford. These hires seem to indicate that Apple is reaching beyond CarPlay and in-car software, and is indeed building a vehicle, according to 9to5Mac:
A couple things we learn from the hires: Evident by this long list of automotive experts, it's clear Apple's ambitions go well beyond just its iOS-based CarPlay in-dash system. Well beyond software too, as many of the names below are hardware engineers coming from Tesla, Ford and other notable automotive related areas. In fact, the majority of employees on this list that are reporting to team leader Steve Zadesky come from an automotive hardware background and many only joined Apple recently or around the time Cook reportedly approved the electric car project.
A number of these new team members reportedly brought over from the auto industry include former Tesla employees like David Nelson, a hardware engineer previously responsible for motor performance and efficiency, and John Ireland, who had been one of Tesla's senior power train test engineers.
New hires also include safety system designers and hardware engineers from both big and small companies from within the automotive industry. One notable hire is Mujeeb Ijaz from A123 Systems, a battery-development company. Ijaz's hiring is notable because A123 is currently suing Apple over employee poaching.
A number of people have also come to the team from within Apple, including several software and hardware engineers. In total, the team is said to number about 1,000 employees. You can read the full report on Apple's car group over at 9to5Mac.