Group of 17 Apple auto engineers leave to join startup Zoox

Alex Webb, Bloomberg:

A group of automotive engineers has left Apple Inc. for self-driving car startup Zoox Inc. after the world’s most valuable technology company backed off plans to build its own vehicle, according to people familiar with the situation.

The 17 engineers specialize in designing elements present in both traditional and autonomous vehicles, such as braking and suspension systems, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the moves aren’t public. Many of them originally joined Apple from Detroit carmakers and suppliers. A Zoox representative declined to comment. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

My two cents: Apple has moved on from phase one of their experiment. They dedicated resources to learning about autonomous tech and the marketplace it represents. As they got smarter about their capabilities and as the marketplace numbers crystalized, Apple laid out plans for phase two. Different learning focus, different market direction requires different personnel.

Lots of ways to spin this story. I see it as R&D-based business as usual.