Tesla 2017 Plans
A Tesla logo on a Model S is photographed inside of a Tesla dealership in New York, April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Chris Lattner, an Apple staffer who helped create its coding language Swift, has left the company and joined Tesla, according to a post on Tuesday from the automotive manufacturer.

In the release, Tesla highlighted Lattner’s past work at Apple and his new role within the company.

We would like to welcome Chris Lattner, who will join Tesla as our Vice President of Autopilot Software. Chris’ reputation for engineering excellence is well known. He comes to Tesla after 11 years at Apple where he was primarily responsible for creating Swift, the programming language for building apps on Apple platforms and one of the fastest growing languages for doing so on Linux. Prior to Apple, Chris was lead author of the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure, an open source umbrella project that is widely used in commercial products and academic research today.

Swift, which debuted at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in 2014, is a coding language built specifically for iOS and OS X-based applications. In an email shared on Swift.org, Lattner announced his plans to transition from the project.

I’m happy to announce that Ted Kremenek will be taking over for me as “Project Lead” for the Swift project, managing the administrative and leadership responsibility for Swift.org. This recognizes the incredible effort he has already been putting into the project, and reflects a decision I’ve made to leave Apple later this month to pursue an opportunity in another space. This decision wasn't made lightly, and I want you all to know that I’m still completely committed to Swift. I plan to remain an active member of the Swift Core Team, as well as a contributor to the swift-evolution mailing list.

Lattner’s hire is a notable move for Tesla as more manufacturers in the automotive space turn their focus towards driverless car technology. At CES, companies like Baidu and BMW highlighted their respective autonomous driver initiatives. Tesla head Elon Musk has also pushed to showcase a fully autonomous cross-country drive by the end of this year.