Apple reportedly hires ex-NASA and Tesla staffers to boost its autonomous car efforts

Kramer Phillips By Kramer Phillips | 4 years ago

Two official documents released to two media outlets reveal that Apple has hired two ex-NASA employees, robotic experts, and ex-Tesla staffers.

The new recruits will form part of Apple’s driverless car teams.

The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider on Friday obtained a permit that was issued to Apple by Californian authorities on March 14, granting the tech company permission to test autonomous cars.

The permit contained names of six Apple employees designated as ‘driver/operators’ of the driverless vehicles.

Business Insider said that according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the employees’ names were supposed to be redacted, but both it and the Wall Street Journal published the names on Monday.

Investigations revealed that these current Apple employees had had previous experience at NASA, electric car company Tesla, and in the robotics industry.

Apple hopes that their combined experience will boost its efforts in the driverless vehicle niche.

Apple has so far refused to divulge the details of its autonomous car efforts.

At one point, there were reports that the project had been scaled down. Recent developments, however, show that the tech giant is still focusing on the technology, as it gears to challenging existing automakers.

Apple’s project will also rival tech companies such as Google, which has its driverless vehicle program through its spin-off company Waymo.

One of the people on Apple’s list is Shipla Gulati, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as “an experienced robotic” expert, working on “special projects at a Silicon Valley company.”

Apple is not named on Gulati’s LinkedIn page.

In her job description, Gulati describes how she built an organization of “30 world-class researchers and engineers,” and has been working in her current role since March 2015.