(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. has lost multiple top managers of its self-driving car team in recent months, a sign of attrition at the division involved in what could become an important future product.
The iPhone maker has hundreds of engineers working on underlying self-driving car technology as well as groups of employees working on an actual vehicle, Bloomberg News has reported. Running the division is Doug Field, a former top vehicle engineer for Tesla Inc., along with a management team of fewer than a dozen executives. At least three members of that Apple car management team have departed this year.
In recent days, Dave Scott, who led teams working on robotics related to the car, left to become the chief executive officer at Hyperfine, a health care company developing next-generation MRI systems. Before Scott’s departure, Jaime Waydo, who led autonomous car safety and regulation teams, departed to become the chief technology officer at Cavnue, a startup focused on the safety of autonomous cars on public roads.
In February, Benjamin Lyon, who helped create Apple’s original car team several years ago and was key in the future project’s development, left to become the chief engineer at Astra, a company developing technology for sending satellites to space.
Read more: Apple Self-Driving Electric Car Is at Least Half a Decade Away
Despite the recent departures, Apple has added notable names to the car team over the past few years, including former top Tesla executives in charge of drive systems and manufacturing engineering, car interiors and exteriors and self-driving software. The team also includes other car industry veterans and executives who have developed key Apple products.
Apple has become the world’s most valuable company, with a market capitalization of more than $2 trillion, by selling smartphones, tablets, personal computers and services. But investors and customers have been clamoring for new device categories, with speculation increasing about an Apple car in the technology and automotive industries. In addition to autonomous-vehicle technology, Apple is working on…