Apple Hires Former Tesla VP To Head Up Special Car Projects (AKA Project Titan)

2 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 25

Former Tesla VP Of Vehicle Engineering And Former Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Chris Porritt

Former Tesla VP Of Vehicle Engineering And Former Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Chris Porritt (Youtube Tesla Motors via Evannex)

Chris Porritt, former Tesla Vice President of engineering and previous chief engineer at Aston Martin was reportedly hired for Apple’s Project Titan as reported by 9to5Mac.

Chris Porritt Racing In Aston Martin, Image Credit:

Chris Porritt Racing In Aston Martin, Image Credit: Drive

Elon Musk jokingly refers to Apple as the “Tesla Graveyard”, as there has been an assumed “poaching” war between the companies.

This goes both ways however, as it’s been verified that former Apple staff now also work for Tesla.

Steve Zadesky was the former head of Apple’s car project but left not long ago for “personal” reasons. The hiring of Porritt creates speculation as to whether or not he will assume the Project Titan boss position.

Porritt made a name for himself with years of experience in the auto industry. He began at Land Rover and graduated to Principal Engineer in Vehicle Dynamics for the company. Then he moved on to Aston Martin, where he was involved in many of the company’s top models. Finally, Porritt headed to the States to work in Silicon Valley for Tesla.

As noted by 9to5Mac, when Tesla first hired Porritt years ago, Musk spoke highly of him. He explained:

“Tesla is a hardcore technology company, which means that anyone leading a team of engineers must be an outstanding engineer themself, as well as a good leader. Chris demonstrated exactly that in his prior role at Aston Martin, creating in the One-77 what was arguably their best car ever.”

Although Apple continues to be careful to keep things vague, this is not the first time that the company has generated press after hiring a former Tesla employee for “special projects”. Jamie Carlson, former senior engineer for Tesla’s Autopilot, joined Apple recently as well.

It has already been confirmed that Porritt will be in charge of at least a few other important people in Apple’s “special project” team. Specifically, some of those same employees that were once working under Zadesky. This points more and more to a resurgence of Project Titan.

The evidence is mounting that an Apple Car may become a reality. Just yesterday, it was reported that the company is managing a secret lab in Berlin.

Source: 9to5Mac

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25 responses to "Apple Hires Former Tesla VP To Head Up Special Car Projects (AKA Project Titan)"

  1. Alan says:

    Things starting to hot up nicely in the EV world of new entrants.

    Tesla, FF, Apple & Dyson all looking to make EVs only.

    Have I missed anyone else ?

    1. sven says:

      Rimac Automobili

    2. Jychevyvolt says:

      Foxconn, google

      1. sveno says:

        Having worked in the industry (EMS), Foxconn expanding to the car industry means that one day you can send your CAD files and will get a shipment of rolling chassis (like PCBs today) or fully assembled cars (like OEM service today). EVs are simple machines, relatively speaking – it is bound to happen.

        1. sveno says:

          I am already dreaming of the Raspberry Pi equivalent of an EV – open source, modular, mass produced, community supported and cheap. Perhaps it will happen first for farm equipment on private property.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          3D printed cars, or at least car bodies? Well, maybe someday, but don’t expect to see 3D printed mass produced cars anytime soon.

          With the current state of the art of 3D printing, it’s a tremendous cost saver for prototypes, and economical for a small number of units, but it’s not at all economical for a large number of units. It’s also a slow production method.

          1. Velonino says:

            Needless to say. We are far away from needed safety requirements from 3D printing cars.

  2. kdawg says:

    I knew Apple was serious about AI, but I didn’t think they would employ Max Headroom.

    1. Foo says:

      I hope they employ Max Legroom as well.

  3. proxymusanonimy says:

    Titan = FF

  4. kdawg says:

    I bet at 2:10 today, Sven makes a comment about Elon cracking jokes.

    1. sven says:

      You must be some sort of svengali. 😉

  5. Dragon says:

    I bet Apple is getting more serious/urgent about their EV after seeing the Model 3 reservations.

    1. Mxs says:

      They are in no rush, they never are, regardless how people want to spin it or generate bandwidth …

  6. sven says:

    “Elon Musk jokingly refers to Apple as the ‘Tesla Graveyard'”

    Yet when Elon isn’t cracking jokes, he’s busy hiring former Apple employees to work on the Autopilot Hardware Engineering Team at Tesla. Does Elon also refer to Tesla as the “Apple Graveyard”?

    http://9to5mac.com/2016/02/29/tesla-apple-chip/

    http://electrek.co/2016/01/28/tesla-jim-keller-apple-processor-architect-2/

    1. cmina says:

      I’m not exactly sure where you’re going with that but just in case you didn’t know, Jim Keller is a bit of a legend in his field. Whatever it costs them, Tesla is lucky to have him.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Keller_%28engineer%29

      1. SJC says:

        Musk should refrain from making foolish insulting remarks, grow up. “Just kidding” is a way to insult without accountability.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      sven wrote:

      Does Elon also refer to Tesla as the ‘Apple Graveyard’?

      Rats, I was gonna post a similar joke. People keep stealing my thunder today! 🙂

  7. Johannes says:

    No matter what other players join this EV gambling table, I am sticking with Elon’s vision and company, go TEAM TESLA.!

  8. scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!) says:

    Here’s a sneak preview photo of the new Apple car:

    1. Kdawg says:

      That was their small-scale model. Here’s the prototype.

      http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac211/kdawg2011/applecar_zpsmwkwasxx.jpg

  9. Alain says:

    There is one thing going for Apple, budget
    They have a s**t load .They will get the car out, but at what cost,if it doesn t sell ,lose a lot of That 40b plus in thé bank.

    1. Mxs says:

      You have no idea what Apple will or will not do …. Just your usual pro-Tesla rhethoric, nothing based on history, science or inside knowledge, nada.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Alain’s comment was entirely reasonable, and insulted no one.

        Yours fails on both accounts.

        Alain quite rightly points out that Apple has very deep pockets, so could easily invest a lot more into making EVs a short amount of time than, say, Tesla. How is that showing a pro-Tesla bias?

  10. Mister G says:

    Competition is good for consumers…let the EV wars begin quickly and not take 3 years to sell a 200 mile EV for $35k…I’m tired of waiting.