Apple has hired Doug Betts, a former employee at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in charge of global quality, for an unknown role. Betts' LinkedIn page simply states that his job title is "Operations-Apple Inc.," that he works in the San Francisco Bay area, and that he joined the company in July. Betts and Apple declined to comment on the new position when approached by the Wall Street Journal.
Apple is reported by the WSJ to be putting together a team, consisting of "hundreds of people," to work on autonomous vehicle systems. This includes one of the leading autonomous vehicle researchers in Europe. The company is also reportedly recruiting Tesla employees.
The news comes soon after reports earlier this month that Apple is putting more of its efforts into a new electric car project. Project "Titan," as it is rumored to be called, has caused grief inside the company for higher up managers angry that employees are being taken from other projects to work on the new endeavor.
Neither the project nor the nature of the work have been made public, but a previous report from Reuters said that the end result will be a self-driving car. The car will be entirely designed by Apple, the report claims, marking a major shift from anything the company has done before.
Apple previously entered into the automobile space with CarPlay, an iOS feature that launched this year. The system allows users to control their phone from their dashboard through supported touchscreen consoles, providing maps, music and Siri.