Talk of a fully-fledged Apple Car has died down over the last couple of years, leaving many to wonder whether it’s still on the *ahem* roadmap.
Well, news that Apple’s vice president of special projects Doug Field, believed to be running the secretive Apple Car project until now, is heading back to one of the legacy auto manufacturers.
Field, will be the new chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer at Ford, leaving behind his work on Apple’s attempts to crash the auto industry party. Field previously worked at Tesla and was on the Mac team at Apple before that.
The decision may be a blow to Apple’s ongoing efforts, wherever they’re at right now, but potentially a big get for Ford. Without giving away any trade secrets (we’re sure he’s signed as many non disclosure agreements as anyone on the planet), Field will be able to offer insight into where a potential rival is headed with its rumoured incursion into the market.
His job description also makes it appear like the integration of consumer tech Ford has often pioneered with its Sync tech is very much still on the agenda. Field also mentions “autonomy”, suggesting he’ll be involved in Ford’s efforts towards a self-driving future.
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“I’m thrilled to be joining Ford as it embraces a transition to a new, complex and fascinating period in the auto industry,” Field said in a press release (via MacRumors). “It will be a privilege to help Ford deliver a new generation of experiences built on the shift to electrification, software and digital experiences, and autonomy. I’m committed to helping the team make those experiences seamless, delightful and continually advancing over time.”
In a statement on his departure, Apple wrote: “We’re grateful for the contributions Doug has made to Apple and we wish him all the best in this next chapter.”
The well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman says the Apple Car project may be “further out now, if ever.”