VW snags leading self-driving car expert from Apple

Apple still hasn't admitted it has an autonomous car project

Volkswagen has hired away one of Apple's top experts on autonomous vehicle technologies, signaling the German auto maker's intent to become a serious player in self-driving cars.

Johann Jungwirth was hired by Volkswagen to lead research into advanced technologies as head of its new Digitalization Strategy Department. He had been at Apple since September 2014, after heading North American R&D for Mercedes Benz.

The impact on Apple is hard to gauge since Apple hasn't even acknowledged it's working on an autonomous vehicle.

At Apple, Jungwirth's job title was director of Mac Systems Engineering, a role explained on his LinkedIn page in the briefest of ways: "focusing on building great Mac products."

But he had reportedly taken a leading role in the research Apple is doing on autonomous car technology.

While the iPhone maker hasn't commented, emails obtained earlier this year under a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that Apple had been in talks to get access to an autonomous vehicle testing track in the a San Francisco Bay Area.

The emails don't divulge anything about what Apple is working on, but they went some way to confirming some kind of vehicle automation project. Whether it's a fully autonomous car or simply add-on gadgets to make driving easier is unknown.

Apple routinely refuses all comment on research and development projects until it announces a product.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Apple

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?