Appl’es secret project; the production of self self-driving cars is well known. More details, however, keeps the iPhone company secret. Documents from an FBI investigation against an ex-employee now indicate the massive dimensions of the project.
So far it was said that at Apple about 1,000 employees are involved in the development of the car project “Titan”. Investigations by the FBI against a former Apple employee reveal new details about Apple’s work on self-driving cars. Among others, they show that far more people are involved in the project than expected.
Apple: 5,000 employees involved in developing self-driving cars
According to the US Federal Police document , not only 1,000, but the 5,000 Apple employees of 135,000 employees are privy to the car project. Of these, 2,700 are referred to as “core employees”.
“Core employees” are persons who work on, or are at least familiar with, the company’s developments in autonomous driving and other related technologies, according to CNBC . These 2,700 employees would have access to two databases containing sensitive details about the project. The documents also show that Apple could develop custom chips for its self-propelled platform.
Ex-Apple employee is said to have stolen data in a big way
According to the FBI, Apple employee Zhang Xiaolang told the company on return from parental leave in April 2018 that he wanted to switch to Chinese electric car developer Xiaopeng Motors. The Apple security department then found that Zhang had previously downloaded technical documents from Apple’s database on a grand scale – including a 25-page plan for a self-driving car circuit board. This he has partially transferred to the notebook of his wife.
Xiaopeng Motors denied on Wednesday that it had participated in the industrial espionage. The ex-Apple employee had been released in the meantime. Zhang was arrested at the airport of San Jose, California, last week, according to FBI documents, when he was about to make a last-minute flight to China. Im imminent ten years imprisonment and a fine of 250,000 US dollars.
Apple’s car project has been speculating for years. Initially, the group is said to have worked on its own autonomous and electric vehicle and even finished the first prototypes. Then the focus shifted to the development of a software platform for autonomous driving – the project was also confirmed by Tim Cook .
Since April 2017 Apple is allowed to test self-driving cars in California. In Mail 2018 Apple has brought VW into the boat. The Volkswagen Group is to rebuild T6 buses for the company and transport employees between the two Apple campuses.