Jaime Waydo is the newest hire to join onto Apple's self-driving lineup. Waydo is coming in from Alpabet's Waymo division as a senior engineer and from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA.
Waydo was "instrumental" at Waymo, some of her former coworkers said recently. Specifically she was responsible for checking the safety of prototypes, and helped coach the company on when it was okay to begin real-world road tests in Phoenix.
Before that the engineer was with JPL for over a decade, where her signature work was developing one of NASA's Mars rovers.
The implications of the hire are uncertain, but safety has become a paramount concern in the self-driving car industry following a death caused by an Uber vehicle and multiple accidents involving partially autonomous Tesla cars. Apple has been steadily growing its test fleet, and may need more people for quality control.
The state of Apple's self-driving project is otherwise uncertain. The company started out designing its own electric vehicle under the code-name "Project Titan," but soon scaled back to platform work. Its long-term goal may be the ride-hailing market, most likely in partnership with one or more third parties.
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