Apple’s Self-Driving Car Might Catch Up To Google’s Thanks To New Tesla Hire

Ongoing rumors have mentioned that Apple has begun working on creating a self-driving car under the name “Project Titan,” but the company has yet to admit whether or not the numerous speculations are true. Despite what Apple claims, the clues are quickly starting to add up, and it is becoming more and more apparent that Apple is working on some rather large developments in the automotive industry.

Just on Friday, a former engineer from Tesla named Jamie Carlson indicated on his LinkedIn profile that he has joined the Apple team. Jamie’s profile does not indicate the exact title of his position. Instead, it simply indicates that he is working in the “Special Projects” department. Carlson, who worked as a lead firmware engineer for the Tesla autonomous vehicle, a car that is entirely electric powered, claims to have joined Apple in August. Reportedly, Apple has also hired a number of other engineers with vast experience in automated driving, some of which have been scouted from leading companies including Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen.

The question still remains whether Apple has any chance at catching up to their main competitor, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in the self-driving car department. Alphabet has been in the game for quite a few years now, and even started field testing their self-driving cars back in 2012. They’ve also had plenty of opportunity to test their self-driving cars on public roads, and continue to do so despite the handful of reported accidents.

It’s no doubt that Apple has the funds to match, or perhaps even exceed, the technology that Google is using in the construction of their self-driving cars, but Google has the upper-hand in terms of on-the-road experience. Perhaps the reason for Apple’s ongoing secrecy is that they are working on a completely new form of self-driving cars altogether. It has been indicated by the Guardian that the company has been in touch with GoMentum Station, a secured military facility where much of the upcoming tests for their self-driving cars will likely take place.

Whether or not Apple is in fact building a self-driving car, or whether they are choosing to focus primarily on autonomous driving, the fact remains that they certainly have no intention of letting any major details slip until the time is exactly right. In the meantime, Google is taking the reigns on the self-driving car race for now, but there is still a possibility that Apple will soon speed up and self-drive their way right past Google thanks to their expanding elite team.

[Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]