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Volkswagen Snatches Self-Driving Car Expert from Apple

Volkswagen Wrestles With Diesel Emissions CrisisVolkswagen Wrestles With Diesel Emissions Crisis
The Volkswagen logo. Photograph by Jim Dyson — Getty Images

Volkswagen has hired self-driving car expert Johann Jungwirth from Apple as it continues to deal with the scandal that saw its vehicles release more diesel emissions than previously reported.

The New York Times reported that Jungwirth will head the automaker newly created Digitalization Strategy Department. He will report to CEO Matthias Müller in the new position.

On his LinkedIn profile, Jungwirth discusses his new role. “Unique opportunity to combine the Silicon Valley spirit and culture with the best brands and products in the automotive industry at the Volkswagen Group to lead the digital revolution with autonomous driving, most innovative technology and solutions, and most importantly,” he wrote, “the best and most natural and intuitive user experience to keep a competitive advantage.”

His profile states that he previously worked at Apple as a director for Mac systems engineer. However, the Times reported that he may have been working on Apple’s secretive self-driving car project. There’s no mention of him working on the project on his profile.

Before joining Apple, Jungwirth worked for Mercedes-Benz.

The news comes as Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the bold claim that self-driving cars will be widely used sooner than expected.