It’s now official that Apple veteran Chris Lattner has joined the ranks to Tesla where he will be vice president of their Autopilot self-driving suite. This development was confirmed by the Californian EV maker in a blog post after speculation arose after Lattner’s departure following an 11 year tenure at the tech giant.
He will be taking over from Jinnah Hosein, SpaceX’s vice president of software, who had serving a dual role as the interim VP of Tesla’s autopilot division, and who will now focus on his original role full time.
At Apple, Lattner was one of their most high value employees, though his work mostly kept him out of the spotlight. Internally though, his contributions run far and wide and had manifested most notably in the Swift programming language that was announced at Apple’s developer conference in 2014.
Since then, the fast-growing Swift has branched out to include software written for macOS, iOS, and Linux, with future releases to be more heavily adoptive of the programming language in lieu of the established Objective-C.
This gives us some insight into what Lattner’s new employers might be up to. Clearly they prioritise software engineering and computing power a great deal, but this new hire in particular shines a light on what could be a much more ambitious and wide-ranging future for the electric car company.