Apple Park photo of the side of the main buildingSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple has hired another former Tesla engineer for its Apple Car project.
  • Christopher "CJ" Moore, who ran Autopilot for Tesla, will work on the software for the vehicle.

It looks like Apple has gone and hired another former Tesla engineer to help with its long-rumored Apple Car project.

As reported by Bloomberg, the company has hired Christopher "CJ" Moore, a former Tesla engineer who had run the company's Autopilot team, to help build the software that will power Apple's self-driving car. According to the report, Moore will be reporting to Stuart Bowers, another former Tesla executive who joined Apple in 2020.

Moore had spun up some controversy at Tesla when the executive said that Tesla CEO Elon Musk's comments about its Autopilot capabilities did not "match engineering reality."

The iPhone maker tapped Christopher "CJ" Moore for its team working on a self-driving car, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Moore is working on the effort's software, reporting to Stuart Bowers, another former Tesla executive who joined Apple at the end of last year. Bowers had led Tesla's Autopilot team before departing in mid-2019.

Moore signaled in response that Musk's statements didn't "match engineering reality," according to a DMV memo summarizing the conversation. For many years, Musk has said he believes Tesla is close to releasing so-called Level 5 autonomy features, which would mean the cars can operate without human intervention. The current system, known as Level 2, requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.

The Apple Car project has been a very fluid one since the company launched the effort years ago. It has seen many people join and depart the project including Doug Field who, after running the project for years, left the company in September to lead Ford's technology efforts.

Apple replaced Field with Kevin Lynch, the Apple executive who has been primarily known for watchOS, the software that powers the Apple Watch. Lynch has been tasked with overseeing both the software and hardware sides of Project Titan (the codename for the Apple Car project).

Despite the project's ups and downs, it appears that Apple is still focused on bringing an autonomous vehicle to reality.