Apple Vice President of Hardware Engineering DJ Novotny is leaving Rivian

Rivian R1T

The Apple VP who helped launch the electric Apple Car project is leaving for another car company along with DJ Novotny heads to Rivian.

DJ Novotny, a nearly 25-year Apple veteran, was the iPhone maker's vice president of hardware engineering. However, he is now ending his time at Apple for a new position elsewhere.

Bloomberg reports that Novotny will become senior vice president of automotive programs at Rivian and will report directly to Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe.

Novotny announced his departure from Apple with a memo that said: “Apple has been my life, but now is the time for me to move on and help bring a new set of products to life.” He also said he was “very lucky to be part of so many great teams that have developed everything from the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Watch and more.”

In addition to several generations of Apple's core products, Novotny also worked on one long-standing project: the Apple Car. The report mentions that he helped kickstart the development of an electric vehicle as part of the project.

He later became “a senior executive responsible for the development of future home devices,” the report adds, including work in artificial intelligence and robotics.

Novotny is not the only Apple employee to join Rivian in the past month. On January 22, Electrek reported that Rivian hired Jonas Reinke, who spent four years as head of product, mobility and automotive services at Apple, having previously spent more than a decade at Porsche.

The new release is the latest setback for the long-delayed Apple Car, which has apparently been pushed back to 2028. At the same time, Apple is said to have scaled back its plans for the car from full automation to a Level 2+ system capable of limited autonomous functions such as lane centering and adaptive cruise control.

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