Apple has been working on a car project since 2014, but little is publicly known about its progress; the company hasn't acknowledged its existence. However it's doing, Project Titan appears to have been slowed now that Ford has hired the project's top executive, the Guardian reports. Doug Field is the fourth senior member of Apple's project to quit since February. At Ford, he'll be in charge of advanced technology and embedded systems. Field referenced the changes coming to the industry in a statement about his hiring. "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," he said.
Field's resume includes leading the development of Tesla's Model 3. He had left Apple earlier for Tesla but returned in 2018 after Apple reportedly dropped plans for building cars and switched its attention to software for autonomous driving, per CNBC. He told reporters Tuesday that he won't discuss Apple products, but said, "There’s nothing that prevents me from being fully engaged at Ford, and I’m looking forward to using everything I've learned" from the companies and teams he's worked with.
The executive said he decided to jump when he realized how committed Ford is to producing connected vehicles in particular. That's part of the automaker's turnaround plan, which includes providing software services to producing recurring revenue. Field also will supervise integrating products with smartphones, watches and other technology. Apple wished him well in a statement, and Ford CEO Jim Farley called Field's hiring a "watershed moment" for his company. (Read more Ford Motor Co. stories.)