Chris Lattner leaves Apple for Tesla

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Tesla has announced the arrival of yet another key member of staff from Apple: Chris Lattner. Responsible for creating Apple’s Swift programming language for building apps on Apple platforms, Lattner is to be appointed Vice President of Autopilot Software. His appointment comes in rapid succession to last month’s announcement that Apple’s senior director of product design, Matt Casebolt, has become senior director of engineering for closures and mechanisms.

The appointment raises the obvious question over which area of business Lattner is going to be driving. The two most likely are further development of Autopilot or a new connected car infotainment platform to compete with CarPlay and Android Auto. Tesla’s Autopilot software suite has always very much focused on autonomous driving, but this latest move could herald an expansion into a full mobile platform. Google N in particular is moving fast, and with the latest technologies presented at CES such as AI, virtual displays, speech recognition and personal assistants they may well be employing Lattner to stay ahead of the infotainment competition.

Adam Jefferson