Apple hires self-driving sensor VP from Hyundai as car project rumbles on

Apple Car Concept
(Image credit: Vanarama)

Apple has reportedly hired a former vice president in charge of autonomous driving sensors from Hyundai MOBIS as it continues work on its own Apple Car project.

The report notes that Gregory Baratoff has now left the car component maker and is now likely working on similar projects for Apple, although the company hasn't confirmed as much.

Wheels are turning

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, writing via his weekly Power On newsletter,  Baratoff previously "worked at the German automotive component maker Continental AG" and is likely to find himself working for Apple on "one of the most important components in a self-driving car."

The Apple Car project is one that has been trundling along for years, with execs and engineers coming and going at regular intervals. It still isn't clear exactly what the project is working to achieve, however. Some reports have Apple looking to build a full electric vehicle with the help of companies like Hyundai and KIA, while others suggest that Apple is instead working on creating the technology that others could use. Such technology would feature self-driving capabilities similar to Tesla's Autopilot, if the rumors are to be believed.

Apple is already trying to change the way we use our cars via its CarPlay iPhone feature. The iOS 16 announcement in June saw Apple outline its plans for CarPlay, with multi-screen cars set to benefit from a new look in terms of the software they interact with. The big CarPlay update won't come until 2023, but Apple says that it will be able to hook into in-car systems more closely, assuming carmakers sign on.

The rest of iOS 16 will be available to the world later this month following a number of beta releases since June's debut. The same goes for tvOS 16 and watchOS 9, while those looking forward to macOS 13 Ventura and iPadOS 16 will have to wait until October.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.