Apple adds former Tesla VP to Project Titan team

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tesla
Tesla just lost another engineer to Apple.
Photo: CC Wikipedia

Another high profile Tesla executive has joined Apple’s team, possibly signaling some significant progress is being made on the development of Apple’s car project.

Steve MacManus, who served as Tesla’s vice president of engineering from 2015 until 2019, was hired by Apple earlier this month. MacManus’ recently changed LinkedIn profile doesn’t give any clues about what he’s working on for Apple, but given his work history, it’s probably a pretty safe bet that he’s working on Project Titan.

Apple’s car project has been in the works for nearly half a decade now. The company has hired a number of former-Tesla employees to the team and filed for dozens of patents, yet we still haven’t seen so much as a tease of what they’re actually building.

MacManus has considerable experience designing car interiors for some of the most prestigious automotive brands in the world. Before his time at Tesla, he was the chief engineer for body interior and exterior trim at Aston Martin for over four years. He also worked Bentley designing seats and restraints and did some time with Jaguar and Land Rover.

His current title at Apple is Senior Director working out of Apple Park. His talents could be used to design something other than car interiors at Apple, though that seems unlikely.

Project Titan can use all the help it can get. The car project has stalled a number of times and gone through some serious shakeups over the last few years. It’s unclear whether or not the company is still trying to build its own car or just create an autonomous driving platform to be used by others. Tim Cook said self-driving cars are the mother of all AI problems. Based on how little we’ve heard about Project Titan, it sounds like this is one problem Apple is having an incredibly difficult time solving.