Chris Lattner joins all-electric car maker as vice president of Autopilot software; he leaves Apple after 11 years

Tesla has hired ex-Apple head developer Chris Lattner to be its new vice president of Autopilot software.

Lattner, who lead the team that created the language for Apple apps, joins Tesla at a time it has begun fitting all of its cars with full-autonomy hardware. His new team will be responsible for developing software to work with this hardware, which consists of eight surround cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a forward-facing radar.

Once new software is produced, Tesla can supply existing models with new code via over-the-air updates. The plan is to eventually enable all cars running its latest hardware with more advanced driverless functions and to “accelerate the future of autonomous driving”.

Last week, the California-based company’s Gigafactory, located in Nevada, began producing battery cells. The firm has been preparing to significantly ramp up production following the launches of its Model X and Model 3.

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4

11 January 2017
It is to be hoped that he's better at cars than he is at making bl**dy phones. I've had a 4, 5 & 6 and they've got progressively less reliable.

"Why has my Tesla stopped after 20 miles? Looks like a battery problem to me".

"Bring it to the repair shop next Friday at 3:00pm. No, sorry, we've no slot before then. Ah, it's because you've too many apps running in the background; it's definitely not a battery problem. We'll switch them off then try again; it's definitely not a battery problem. Oh. Well let's try a hard reset; it's definitely not a battery problem. Oh. Well it must be you because no-one else has had this problem. Next!"

I trapped the thing in the door of my rally car (don't ask) and had to buy a new one. Hey Presto; no battery problem. Yet.

Wonderful news...

FD

11 January 2017
For those of us more chip-headed than petrol-headed this is *huge* news. Lattner was key in developing the new suite of Apple software tools and, indeed, the new software language itself (Swift). He's a very big chappie in the world of tech. This is a huge coup for Tesla and a real kick in the teeth for Apple. I suspect there's some politics behind this, because until recently Lattner was pretty much Apple's Main Brain with regards to its code underpinnings. I wonder if he's fallen out with the wrong person at Apple and decided to start afresh somewhere else. It surely has to be that or the money. And Tesla would have to be offering a *lot* of money.

12 January 2017
Apple can't complete and have given up on building an electric car (like Google) and are winding the project down. Know who I'd rather work for in those circumstances.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

MrJ

12 January 2017
Interesting news, especially as I have a deposit on a Model III.

Apple and Tesla make my most useful tech products, so I see the appointment more as inter-company synergy than straight competition.

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