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Tesla Steals Apple Exec To Run Autopilot As VP

Elon Musk.Maurizio Pesce/Flickr

Chris Lattner has been working for Apple for over a decade, with one of his most recent accomplishments being the development of the easily accessible programming language, Swift. As it turns out, this is his last contribution to the iPhone maker since he was just hired by Tesla to become the vice-president of its Autopilot division.

Lattner’s departure and subsequent transfer over to Elon Musk’s company come as something of a surprise since both cases were announced in the space of a day, TechCrunch reports. His post was recently occupied by Jinnah Hossein, the vice-president of software at SpaceX, and was doing double-duty as a result.

In a blog post by Tesla, it would seem that the auto company is excited to have Lattner on board. It’s clear that Musk has quite a bit of confidence in the man’s ability to advance the field of autonomous driving.

“We are very excited that Chris is joining Tesla to lead our Autopilot engineering team and accelerate the future of autonomous driving,” the post reads.

More than simply managing to recruit a top talent in software engineering, getting Lattner is a significant boost to Tesla’s capability due to the programmer’s reputation. The former Apple employee is considered somewhat of a trailblazer in the programming community, after all, Reuters reports. Filling a position that was formerly given only partial attention is just a big bonus.

Autopilot is one of Tesla’s biggest bets at the moment, right alongside the predicted inevitability of electric vehicles becoming the dominant force in the car market. The company has already garnered considerable attention with regards to the feature, both good and bad.

All that’s left now is to get driverless technology to a point where Tesla can claim a substantial lead. Lattner is expected to play a big role in that.

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