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Tesla has poached an 11-year veteran of Apple, Chris Lattner, and installed him as the new vice president of Autopilot software, according to a post last night on Tesla's blog. Lattner is, notably, the mind behind Apple's "newest" programming language, Swift.

Autonomous Vehicles

Tesla Poaches Apple’s Chris Lattner, Creator Of Swift, For New VP Of Autopilot Software Role

Tesla has poached an 11-year veteran of Apple, Chris Lattner, and installed him as the new vice president of Autopilot software, according to a post last night on Tesla’s blog. Lattner is, notably, the mind behind Apple’s “newest” programming language, Swift.

Tesla has poached an 11-year veteran of Apple, Chris Lattner, and installed him as the new vice president of Autopilot software, according to a post last night on Tesla’s blog. Lattner is, notably, the mind behind Apple’s “newest” programming language, Swift.

The timing of this is interesting, as Apple only just announced Lattner’s departure today (January 10th). I’d be curious to know how long the two have been talking/negotiating.

What’s also notable is that Lattner worked for Apple for so long (11 years), but Tesla was able to steal him away anyway. Maybe he wanted a new challenge? (Or maybe he thinks that Apple is now on the decline and Tesla on the rise? This is pure speculation on my part of course.)

Here’s more from Tesla regarding who has been holding down the fort while waiting for Lattner to come on board: “As Chris joins Tesla, we would like to give a special thanks to Jinnah Hosein, SpaceX’s Vice President of Software, who has been serving a dual role as the interim Vice President of Tesla Autopilot Software and will now be heading back to SpaceX full-time. We would like to thank Jinnah for the efforts needed to achieve excellence in both roles, David Nister, our Vice President of Autopilot Vision, and the team for their exceptional work in advancing Autopilot.”

Elon provided a short addendum on Twitter:

Tech Crunch provides more context on Lattner: “Lattner’s history includes creating the Clang compiler and designing the LLVM compiler optimization infrastructure. He was also a key contributor to the evolution of Objective C and worked on Apple’s Xcode software development tool during his time at the iPhone maker. He also apparently builds beautiful raw-edge wood furniture.”

On a related note, Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently announced via Twitter that the company could begin rolling out the software update enabling Autopilot functionality in HW2 vehicles within the next week.

Photo via Chris Lattner’s website

 
 
 
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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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