Apple Secures BlackBerry QNX Chief As Project Titan Focus Shifts To Autonomous Driving
Last week we reported that Apple’s self-driving car project, code-named “Project Titan”, was experiencing a big shakeup. This week, however, it seems that Apple is trying to get the ball, or should we say tire rolling. Apple, has hired former QNX co-founder and chief executive officer Dan Dodge in order to further the project. Dodge is now part of a team headed by former Apple hardware chief Bob Mansfield.
Dodge co-founded QNX in 1980 as a student at the University of Waterloo in Canada. The company was sold to Harman International Industries Inc. in 2004 and then Blackberry in 2010. QNX makes connected-device systems for Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company. Apple reportedly will be opening a research and development center near QNX’s headquarters in Canada later this year.
Apple also appears to be collecting former Ford employees. Aindrea Campbell, who was a manager in the body construction engineering team and previously headed a group which researched lightweight materials used in vehicles, joined Apple in September 2015. Her co-worker Todd Gray joined the team this past May. He helped to build the systems used to manufacture the aluminum body of the F-150 truck.
Apple’s revitalized self-driving car agenda is partly due to falling sales elsewhere. Within the past year, iPhone sales fell for the first time year-over-year since the phone’s launch in 2007. Profits dropped 27% to $7.8 billion USD during the most recently completed quarter, while revenue dropped roughly 14% to $42.4 billion USD. Apple blamed economic uncertainty and people not upgrading their phones as often for the decrease, however, Samsung experienced an unprecedented number of smartphone sales.