| Cult of Mac

Mercedes CEO will worry about iCar when Apple worries about their phone

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Mercedes concept car from CES 2015. Photo: Mercedes
Mercedes concept car from CES 2015. Photo: Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz already lost a key employee to Apple’s project Titan, but Daimler AG chairman Dieter Zetsche says he’s not losing any sleep thinking about Cupertino’s rumored self-driving car.

At the launch of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 sports sedan in Portugal last night, the Mercedes boss dismissed the threat an iCar could pose to established car manufacturers, saying Apple wouldn’t be worried about a Mercedes-Benz smartphone so his company is not worried about an Apple car.

Meet the Mercedes tech guru who defected to Apple

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Johann_Jungwirth Credit: Merceds Benz http://next.mercedes-benz.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/PUX_Vorschau.jpg
Johann Jungwirth used to head up Mercedes' R&D lab in Silicon Valley. He now works for Apple on Mac systems engineering. Yeah right. Photo: Mercedes Benz

Johann Jungwirth is a new Apple employee with one of the world’s most unbelievable job titles.

Until the middle of last year, Jungwirth headed up the big Mercedes-Benz R&D facility in Silicon Valley that, among other things, is responsible for the futuristic self-driving car you see below. (The astonishing Mercedes F 015 is very real, BTW).

Jungwirth was hired by Apple last September and given the title of “Director of Mac Systems Engineering,” according to his LinkedIn page. The title appears to be total hogwash. Jungwirth spent his entire 20-year career working on connected cars, not computers.

Apple is famous for obfuscating about its new hires to throw off competitors and journalists, and the company is reportedly working on a top-secret electric car. If Apple is interested in the stuff Jungwirth has worked on, it’s going to be a wild ride.