Apple hires Tesla Autopilot software director Christopher “CJ” Moore, the report said

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Apple, based in Cupertino, California, declined to comment.

At Tesla, Moore implied that CEO Elon Musk overestimated the capabilities of the Autopilot software. Earlier this year, California Department of Motor Vehicle officials interviewed Moore as part of the self-driving software investigation. The department asked Moore about Musk stating that the Teslas would be able to drive fully autonomously this year.

Moore reported in response that Musk’s statements did not “match the engineering reality,” according to a DMV memo summing up the conversation. For many years, Musk has said he believes Tesla is close to releasing so-called Level 5 range features, which would mean cars can run without human intervention. The current system, known as Level 2, requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.

Recently, a lawsuit brought by the inheritance of a Florida man who died in a 2019 accident while using autopilot is trying to call Moore as a witness. Legal documents relating to the case revealed in October that Moore had left Tesla.

Apple recently replaced former project leader Doug Field with Kevin Lynch, who has been leading software engineering for the Apple Watch since the product’s infancy. He also hired other big names in the automotive world, including Urlich Kranz, the former CEO of self-driving car startup Canoo.

The Apple team has other former Tesla executives, including the company’s former broadcasting chief Michael Schwekutsch and interior chief Steve MacManus. At the same time the group has lost several managers. In addition to Field, this year’s departures include robotics chief Dave Scott and chief security officer Jaime Waydo. Another former manager of the effort, Dave Rosenthal, recently left Apple after leaving the project earlier.

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