Apple poaches car design expert from Tesla

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Project Titan
Vehicles testing Appe’s self-driving technology have external sensors. A new hire could help create their final look.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Andrew Kim used to be a senior designer at Tesla where he contributed to the development of numerous car models. Recently, however, he joined the list of people who’ve left that car company for Apple. 

It’s not yet known what projects Kim is working on for his new employer, but he could be contributing to Apple’s autonomous vehicle project. That said, Kim’s design experience extends beyond cars.

During his two years at Tesla, Kim’s LinkedIn profile indicates he worked on the designs for the Model 3, the Model S, the Model X, the Semi, the Roadster V2, and the Model Y.

Before that, he spent three years at Microsoft, where he contributed to the Xbox One S, HoloLens, and more. So despite his recent experience in automobile design, he could be working on something else at Apple.

He just started at his new position last week.

A mini migration

Andrew Kim is just one of many people to leave Tesla for Apple. Even a Senior VP of Engineering. In fact, there have been so many that Tesla publicly complained about it.

Apple also lured at least one senior engineer away from Waymo, the division of Alphabet tasked with creating a self-driving vehicle.

Like Kim, it’s not known if all these people are now part of Apple’s autonomous-car project, however.

iCar vs Tesla

Apple generally refuses to talk about its efforts to design a self-driving car that will compete with Tesla’s, but the project certainly exists. Earlier this year, a former employee tried to steal proprietary information from Apple’s autonomous car design team, and the FBI report on the incident revealed that there are thousands of people on this task.

Even so, the company’s hush-hush attitude means no one outside of the project knows exactly what is being developed. It could be a whole car, or just a self-driving platform that could be licensed to other companies.