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Monday, September 13, 2021

Ford Hires Apple's Car Project Head


Ford is hiring the head of Apple’s car project away from the iPhone maker.

The carmaker announced that Doug Field is joining the Blue Oval as the chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer.

Field was a top engineer at Tesla between two stints at Apple and played a major role in launching the Model 3 sedan. He began his career though with Ford where he worked as a development engineer from 1987 to 1993.

Field will lead Ford’s Embedded Software and Hardware organization currently consisting of Vehicle Controls, Enterprise Connectivity, Features, Integration & Validation, Architecture & Platform, Driver Assistance Technology and Digital Engineering Tools. This includes:
  • Leading design, development and implementation of the Blue Oval Intelligence tech stack for Ford, Lincoln, and Ford Pro products to create intuitive, always-on experiences for customers
  • Delivering customer-facing attributes, technologies and features, such as infotainment, navigation, driver-assist technology, connected services and vehicle cybersecurity
  • Developing scalable technology platforms that can be deployed across Ford global products
  • Leading and managing relationships with key technology partners and the digital developer ecosystem
  • Leading Ford Power-Up over-the-air updates to delight customers, improve quality and reduce costs
In Field’s departure, Apple has appointed one of its software executives, Kevin Lynch to oversee its self-driving car project. Lynch currently runs the software group for Apple’s smartwatch and health efforts.

It’s unclear if the company will eventually tap a different leader for its car effort—known internally as Project Titan—if it advances far enough for Apple to have confidence in launching a full self-driving vehicle.

Field’s departure for Ford was seen as a sign that an Apple car wasn’t coming in the near future.

Work on the product remains early, with employees inside Apple anticipating that it won’t launch for many years.

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