Autonomous Vehicle Startup Zoox Snags 17 Former Apple Automotive Engineers

Seventeen automotive engineers who previously worked for Apple left the company to join self-driving startup Zoox following Apple's shift away from developing a full autonomous car, reports Bloomberg.

The group of engineers, who originally came to Apple from several Detroit carmakers and suppliers among other automotive companies, are said to specialize in designing hardware like braking and suspension systems.

lexussuvselfdriving2

One of the Lexus SUVs Apple is using to test its self-driving software

Many engineers who were recruited for Apple's car project left as Apple pivoted away from developing its own autonomous vehicle and instead began work on an autonomous driving system. Under the leadership of Bob Mansfield, the "Project Titan" car team is now developing autonomous software and testing that software out on the road in Lexus SUVs.

The latest exodus to Zoox suggests Apple is less likely to revive ambitions to make a car itself. The engineers found themselves increasingly sidelined and surplus to requirements at Apple, and were hired by the startup in piecemeal fashion in recent months, the people said.

It's not entirely clear yet what Apple plans to use its autonomous driving software for, but the company is exploring options like self-driving shuttles to ferry its employees from campus to campus as part of further testing. In the future, Apple could partner with a ride-sharing company or a car manufacturer to deploy its software.

Zoox, meanwhile, is working on an a full autonomous car in order to create a fleet of autonomous vehicles. The company has raised more than $250 million and has a valuation of more than $1 billion.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
85 months ago
CEO: "what should we call ourselves?"
Marketing: "dunno...Zoox?"
Engineer: "that sounds terrib-"
CEO: "Done."
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KazKam Avatar
85 months ago
Gadzoox!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TreyCox Avatar
85 months ago
I wish them luck, but I suggest perhaps changing the company name.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2807 Avatar
85 months ago
They don't plan to create an autonomous car.
They plan to create buzz, get attention, and get bought out.

The "one billion" valuation is suspect to me.
This is the biz model. This is the spin.
They would sell today to the first sucker who comes along.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nunyabinez Avatar
85 months ago
It better be as good as the Jonny Cab. I think he's a very close cousin of Siri.

Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calzon65 Avatar
85 months ago
If having a true self driving car means we need a gadget like that on the roof, I think we have a long way to go ;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple Cancels Electric Car Project

Tuesday February 27, 2024 11:05 am PST by
Apple has canceled all plans to release an autonomous, electric vehicle, reports Bloomberg. Apple has been working on an Apple Car for more than a decade and invested millions of dollars into development before deciding it was not a viable project. Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams today told approximately 2,000 employees working on the Apple Car that the project was canceled,...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...