June 15, 2018 / 7:40 PM / 5 months ago

Apple poaches senior self-driving engineer from Waymo

June 15 (Reuters) - Apple Inc has hired a senior self-driving car engineer from Alphabet Inc's Waymo unit, Apple said on Friday, a sign that the iPhone maker maintains autonomous vehicle ambitions.

Apple hired Jaime Waydo, previously a systems engineer at Waymo, Apple said, confirming a report by The Information, a technology news provider.

Waymo did not immediately return a request for comment.

Before joining Waymo, Waydo was a longtime engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory, according to her LinkedIn profile. At Waymo, she oversaw systems engineering - the process of ensuring hardware and software work well together - and helped make key decisions about when to remove human safety drivers from the company's test fleet in Arizona, The Information reported.

Apple has remained tight-lipped about its efforts in the development of self-driving cars, although Chief Executive Tim Cook has called it "the mother of all AI projects."

The company has not made public any products related to self-driving cars but has made a number of moves indicating that it has an interest in the technology.

It has obtained permits to test-self driving cars in California and published research around how self-driving cars could better detect pedestrians and cyclists.

In April, Apple said that it had hired John Giannandrea, who previously served as Google's top artificial intelligence executive. (Reporting by Stephen Nellis, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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