AI Chief John Giannandrea Takes Over Apple Car Project
Apple is continuing work on developing some kind of autonomous vehicle product, and the project is under new leadership. Apple artificial intelligence lead John Giannandrea is now overseeing Apple Car development as prior lead Bob Mansfield has retired, reports Bloomberg.
It's been quite some time since we heard news about the Apple Car, but Project Titan as the car development is known is now in the hands of Giannandrea, though day to day operations continue to be overseen by Doug Field.
Field was reporting to Bob Mansfield, who came out of retirement in 2016 to handle the Apple Car project. Mansfield first retired in June 2012, but ultimately remained at Apple as an advisor. Prior to being led by Mansfield, Apple's senior vice president of hardware engineering Dan Riccio was overseeing work on the Apple Car.
Giannandrea is Apple's senior vice president of AI and machine learning, and Project Titan's hundreds of engineers are now under his watch. Giannandrea also heads up Siri development and Apple's work on machine learning.
Apple has been working on some kind of self-driving car technology since 2014, but development has been stymied by technical and leadership challenges. Apple was originally working on a full car, but focus seems to have shifted to an in-car autonomous driving system. Apple continues to have dozens of self-driving test vehicles out on the road.
Back in 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that Apple is working on autonomous driving software. "We're focusing on autonomous systems. It's a core technology that we view as very important. We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects. It's probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on," he said.