CUPERTINO (CBS SF) — An Apple employee says Tesla employees are jumping ship to work at Apple as the company reportedly takes on a project that could shake up the autonomous vehicle field.
After a KPIX 5 report on a mystery van that could be Apple’s entry into driverless vehicle development, a self-claimed Apple employee has told Business Insider that the company is working on a project that will “give Tesla a run for its money.”
The employee told Business Insider “Apple’s latest project is too exciting to pass up.”
A photo posted on the Claycord.com blog showed the Dodge minivan on the streets of Concord. The van appears to be similar to one seen in a YouTube video that claims to be a self-driving vehicle.
“I wondered why it was down there, it didn’t have any markings on the sides of it or anything. I couldn’t figure out what it was,” said Concord resident Melissa Lewis.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the car is leased to Apple, which is not one of the half-dozen companies issued testing permits for driverless cars.
Technology analyst Rob Enderle said number of cameras on the apparatus leads his to believe it is a self-driving test vehicle, not a mapping car. “Too many cameras,” said Enderle. “It has cameras that are angled down at all four corners of the vehicle.”
Enderle said not having such a permit wouldn’t rule out Apple attempting to develop a driverless vehicle. “It can be a partnership. You know, they have partnerships with a variety of the carmakers,” said Enderle. “Just because they’re leasing the car doesn’t necessarily mean it’s their project.”