Apple Hires QNX Founder Dan Dodge to Work on Car Project

Mark Gurman and Alex Webb, reporting for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. has hired the former head of BlackBerry Ltd.’s automotive software division as new leadership at the iPhone-maker’s car team places increased emphasis on developing self-driving technology, according to people familiar with the project.

Dan Dodge, the founder and former chief executive officer of QNX, the operating system developer that BlackBerry acquired in 2010, joined Apple earlier this year, the people said. He is part of a team headed by Bob Mansfield, who, since taking over leadership of the cars initiative — dubbed Project Titan — has heralded a shift in strategy, according to a person familiar with the plan.

The initiative is now prioritizing the development of an autonomous driving system, though it’s not abandoning efforts to design its own vehicle. That leaves options open should the company eventually decide to partner with or acquire an established car maker, rather than build a car itself.

Self-driving capabilities have always been part of Apple’s car project. It’s obviously the future. Hiring Dodge seems like a big deal, though. QNX is one of the preeminent real-time operating systems. As Apple creates its own real-time OS, it’s surely helpful to have an executive with industry-leading experience in the field.

(This is Gurman’s first story for Bloomberg after leaving 9to5Mac.)

Thursday, 28 July 2016