After leaving Apple Inc in 2013 and joining Tesla, Doug Field has made his way back to Apple Inc now, to work with Bob Mansfield on Project Titan car team. Apple’s SVP of hardware engineering, assumed control of titan in 2016 after the former project lead Steve Zadesky left for personal reasons.
Apple hasn’t yet confirmed that field is working the Project Titan Car project. As Field had led Tesla’s vehicles during his tenure there, it is well assumed that Field is working on the ‘Project Titan’. Prior to joining to Apple in 2008 field has worked as Segway’s Chief technology officer, Field also served as vehicle development engineer ad team leader at Ford Motor Company, after which he led prototype design and technical leadership at DEKA Research & Development.
Apple started their work on a fully autonomous vehicle in 2014, as the company reportedly started their preliminary discussion to build an automotive plant in the US, even before realizing that such an undertaking was inconvenient.
Apple had sought manufacturing partnerships with well-established carmakers like BMW, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, McLaren, Magna Steyr, and China’s BYD Auto, but these negotiations were unsuccessful. At one point Apple had over 1,000 employees, who were specialists in automotive hardware, software to focus on the rethinking of the Automobile. Apple explored beyond self-driving cars to motorized doors, a globe-shaped steering wheel and many other exotic features.
This ambitious undertaking began to fail due to disagreements between former team leader Steve Sadesky and other top executives. After Mansfield took control of ‘Project Titan’, he whittled the team down to necessary personnel, and the project refocused on software and supporting solutions.
Field’s return now gives hope that Apple could still realize their ambitious ‘Project Titan’. However, there isn’t much evidence to claim Apple Inc. is chasing the likes of Tesla with the same vigour as it did 2 years ago. For now, Apple is content to develop integrated systems.