Tesla Motors has just hired a top Apple software engineer for its self-driving software development. Chris Lattner had been with Apple for more than ten years. And, in an online message to Apple developers on Tuesday, he said that he is leaving the company to work in “another space.” He did not reveal which company has hired him.
Tesla Acquires Services of Apple Engineer
Then, later in the day, Tesla posted on the company website that they have acquired the services and technical specialties of Lattner. They will install him as vice president of Autopilot software. Tesla did not disclose when Lattner will begin his work with them. Similarly, Apple confirmed the news but would not comment further, Reuters reported.
Can anyone tell me anything about this Chris Lattner? Is he nice? https://t.co/S6sAO5vtrl
— Tesla Autopilot (@TeslaAutopilot) January 11, 2017
Tesla has scored a major win with Lattner’s involvement in the program. Not only are they getting a tried and tested engineer, the post he will fill up had not had a full-time leader before. In fact, Autopilot had been overseen on just interim basis by Jinnah Hosein, software chief of SpaceX. The company is also under Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Autopilot is Tesla’s famed hardware and software system that allows self-driving. As is, it is available for some situations, although the cars still need drivers to have their hands on the wheel. Federal safety regulators have yet to determine if Autopilot is to blame in a fatal Tesla crash last year.
Chris Lattner in Apple
As for Lattner, he was senior director for developer tools at Apple. He is best known for his work on Swift, a programming language. With Swift, Apple software developers had a much easier time writing apps for iOS, the operating system behind iPhones and iPads.
Lattner also achieved the impossible by making Swift open source. As such, all developers can use it in their own apps for free. This is a definite first for Apple which is famously protective of all its technology.
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