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The ghost of Cyanogen is working on autonomous excavators
The rise and fall of Cyanogen Inc are well documented, but what happened in the ten months since the company pulled the plug on its main product? Surprisingly, Cyanogen is still around. It’s just not working on anything related to Android anymore.
Now known as Cyngn, the company has pivoted to developing “innovative solutions for autonomous machines and vehicles.”
Cyngn has recently obtained permits to test autonomous vehicles in California, though, unlike many other companies, the startup isn’t working on self-driving technology. Cyngn is actually trying to build autonomous excavators, loaders, and other construction equipment, an internal document consulted by Recode shows.
According to LinkedIn information compiled by Axios, Cyngn now has about 30 employees, including several that worked for Facebook, as well as automotive companies like Daimler. That’s down from a peak of 150 people in its Android days, most of whom were laid off by the end of 2016.
It’s business as usual in Silicon Valley
Cyngn is currently run by Tar Liol, who joined the company as COO, back when it was tinkering with smartphones instead of bulldozers. The former CEO Kirt McMaster has left the company in July 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile, and is now leading a stealth mobility startup called Nere. Steve Kondik, the creator of CyanogenMod and the CTO of Cyanogen Inc, is now an engineer at Facebook’s Oculus VR division.
It’s business as usual in Silicon Valley, though fans of the CyanogenMod open source project are probably still bitter over the way Cyanogen Inc mishandled it. If it’s any consolation, Lineage OS (lead by Steve Kondik) has picked up right where CM left off a year ago.