Apple Car project manager departs Apple to join space startup Astra
Benjamin Lyon, a senior manager understood to be working on Apple’s “Project Titan” team, responsible for the development of the top-secret Apple Car self-driving electric vehicle, is leaving the iPhone maker to join space startup Astra.
According to Bloomberg, Lyon was one of 11 managers reporting to Doug Field, Apple’s vice president in charge of the car project. Lyon is understood to have been working on the Apple Car since 2014 when the original autonomous electric car team was formed.
Lyon, one of Apple’s key engineering leaders with over two decades at the company, will now join the team at Astra focusing on the rocket startup’s engineering efforts.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Lyon said: “Astra to me feels very, very much like redefining what it means for a phone to be smart,” Lyon said. “I think the Astra vision is this magical combination of fundamentally taking the rocket science out of space. How do you do that? Well, you better have a great foundation of a team, and a great foundation of core technologies that you can bring together in order to make a compelling series of products.”
Astra aims to “reshape how the space industry works.” The company’s goal is to launch hundreds of low-cost satellites on behalf of technology clients to be used to beam internet down to earth.