Apple lures away senior self-driving car engineer from Google’s Waymo

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Apple car
One of Alphabet-subsidiary Weymo's senior engineers now works on Apple autonomous cars like this one.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Jaime Waydo is leaving Google’s Waymo for Apple. This should help silence anyone who doubts that Apple is serious about its autonomous car efforts.

Waydo describes her old job at this Alphabet subsidiary as “Helping make self driving cars a reality!” Presumably, that’s what she’ll be doing in her new position too.

Waymo confirmed the change to Reuters, saying “We wish Jaime well in her next endeavor.”

Previously, Waydo spent 14 years as an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She’s a Systems Engineer by training, getting very complex projects to come together smoothly so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Jaime Waydo now works on Apple autonomous cars
Jaime Waydo at Google I/O 2014 talking cars. She’s working for Apple now, though.
Photo: Angie Chang

Apple autonomous cars

Apple certainly has a group working on self-driving cars, but the company has said remarkably little about its plans.

The team supposedly has hundreds of engineers. According to rumor, at one point they were designing their own car, but may have scaled back their ambitions to just creating a navigation system that car makers can add to their vehicles.

At last count, Apple has permits for 55 self-driving vehicles to be on the roads in California. A year ago, that number was just 3, so the company is clearly making progress.