Apple has hired Jaime Waydo, a former senior engineer with Waymo, The Information reports, citing a source familiar with the hire. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment, but it did confirm Waydo's hire to The Information. A Waymo spokeswoman sent a statement that wished Ms. Waydo well in her future endeavors.
According to The Information, Ms. Waydo was a rather high-profile engineer, being in charge of systems engineering and ensuring the safety of Waymo's prototypes. She was apparently involved in Waymo's launch in Phoenix, followed by its decision tofrom the equation entirely. Prior to Waymo, she was a senior engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Apple's hire could signal that the company is ready to begin verifying its own platform for expansion, but it's not clear what position Waydo holds and what she has say over.
The tech giant's self-driving efforts, referred to as, have lagged behind those of competitors like Waymo, General Motors and even Uber. According to reports, Apple had originally planned to create an entire self-driving car, only to a couple of years ago. It's now reportedly focused on a platform that it can develop and sell to automakers that lack the time, funds or manpower to develop an independent system. It's a smart move, as developing a new car from the ground up can cost billions of dollars before anything like autonomy even enters the picture.