Tesla’s Former Chief Engineer Returns to Apple for Driverless Car Project

Apple is working on a driverless car, under Project Titan Group 4 photos
Photo: CultOfMac
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Until just recently, reports said that Apple wouldn’t be making a driverless car anymore, choosing instead to focus just on the software. It would then partner with a carmaker to put together the vehicle, it was said. As it turns out, that may not be the case, after all.
Tesla’s former Chief Engineer, Doug Field, is now back with the Cupertino company, which he had left to join Tesla. The news is confirmed by an Apple spokesperson to John Gruber’s Daring Fireball blog, with the mention that Field will be working again with Bob Mansfield.

Before he left for Tesla, Field and Mansfield in the Mac hardware engineering department, but Mansfield is now in charge of the driverless car project. While Apple wouldn’t say what Field would be working on next, it only makes sense he’s back for Project Titan, Gruber notes.

It’s an interesting hire, primarily because it suggests to me that Apple still has an interest in making actual vehicles, despite reports that the company has scaled back the project to merely make autonomous systems for inclusion in vehicles made by other companies,” the Apple expert points out.

Apple’s modus operandi has always been to make the whole widget. Apple makes products, not components. Field returning to Apple also suggests to me that under Mansfield’s leadership, the Titan project has regained its footing after its infamously rocky start,” Gruber adds.

Field was with Tesla since 2013. In May this year, he went on leave after the company failed to meet the initial first-quarter goal for the Model 3, and CEO Elon Musk took over his responsibilities. At the same time, Musk struggled to convince everyone that Field was still in the picture, tweeting that he was only away temporarily.

In June this year, Field’s departure from Tesla was officially confirmed. It seems that he’ll be taking his driverless car expertise over to Apple, joining the project that reportedly lists about 5,000 Apple specialists.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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