Apple appears to be prototyping car parts at its ‘product realization lab’ w/ new hires from Tesla & Andretti Autosport

Apple is continuing its recent hiring spree from the automotive industry for its not-so-secretive car project, this time hinting at the company’s work prototyping car parts.

The new hires include former Tesla employee David Masiukiewicz, who joins Apple this month as Sr. Model Maker at its Product Realization Lab where Apple prototypes many of its products. 

Masiukiewicz left Tesla in March and officially started at Apple in April. At Tesla, he listed his position as “Senior CNC Programmer R&D Hardware Prototyping,” according to his LinkedIn profile, noting his work on “Precision 5 axis CNC machining of powertrain, suspension and chassis components using CATIA v5 and Openmind hyperMILL software,” and “Programming of Mill/Turn equipment using Esprit.” 

On leaving Tesla for Apple, Masiukiewicz said on his Facebook page that, “Apple provided me with many compelling reasons to come work with them”

Also recently joining the Product Realization Lab with an automotive background is Kevin Harvey, who we discovered joined Apple in August after leaving a role as CNC Machine Shop Supervisor at Andretti Autosport.

The hires seem to hint at Apple’s work prototyping car parts at its Product Realization Lab, a facility that was previously used for prototyping new Macs, iOS devices and Apple’s other products. The lab, at least for other Apple products, is where model makers, machinists, and other engineers at Apple prototype products and parts working alongside the Industrial and Product Design Teams and others. 

Earlier this week we broke the news that Apple picked up former Tesla VP and Aston Martin Chief engineer Chris Porritt for its car project. That came after a recent report claimed that Steve Zadesky, the Apple exec previously believed to be leading Apple’s secretive car efforts, left the company earlier this year. 

Just how far along Apple is with its development of the Apple Car is still unknown since news of the project first broke just over a year ago. At the time, Apple was thought to be eyeing a 2020 timeframe, but a report from WSJ since said it moved up that estimate to 2019 as it worked to triple the size of the team. Last year, we revealed that Apple had hired a long list of automotive experts for the project with a profile on some of the key team members and recent hires. 

Beyond that, Apple is thought to have a separate facility where development on the car codenamed “Project Titan” is taking place, and it’s said to be interested in working with Austrian-based automotive manufacturer Magna after a recent report claimed negotiations with Daimler and BMW have hit dead ends. Now it also looks like it’s prototyping some parts for the project at its Product Realization Lab. 

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