Apple Hires Engineer From Digital License Plate Company for Car Project
One of Apple's recent hires is Rónán Ó Braonáin, who previously served as Director of Engineering at Reviver, a company that makes digital license plates. Braonáin joined the company in August, and as seen on his LinkedIn page, he's working on Apple Special Projects as a "Secret Agent." Presumably that means he's part of the team working on Project Titan, the codename for the Apple Car.
The profile, discovered by Electrek.co, says Braonáin led the Reviver engineering team for five months. Before that, he worked at Vision Fleet, building fleet management software to read data from electric vehicles, and prior to that, he was a software engineer at BMW working on connected car apps.
Reviver has produced Slate, a product dubbed "The World's First Digital License Plate." The Slate is a connected plate that's able to do things like monitor vehicle location and maintenance records and digitally send payments for tolls and parking fees. It also alleviates the need for physical stickers and manual registration processes.
Given Braonáin's short time at Reviver, it's not clear if Apple hired him for the work he did on digital license plate technology, but it's possible it's something Apple is considering for the Apple Car.
Braonáin is just one of dozens of hires with car-related expertise Apple has made in recent months. Apple has been hiring employees from companies like Chrysler, Tesla, NVIDIA, Volkswagen, and Ford, along with researchers who have expertise in autonomous vehicles and connected car systems.
Development on the Apple Car has sped up as of September of 2015, when the project reportedly received a "committed" label. Apple is said to be targeting a 2019 completion date for the project and will make additional hires in the coming months and years as work on the car continues.