Apple’s secret self-driving car project has taken another hit. Doug Field, the head of Apple’s automobile project, has left the company. According to Bloomberg, he will join Ford Motor Company to manage the automaker’s advanced technology and embedded systems operations.
Field most worked as vice president of special projects at Apple and previously served as senior vice president, engineering at Tesla. He, in fact, worked for Ford earlier in his career. The automotive expert also helped Tesla in launching its bestseller vehicle sedan, the Model 3.
In a nutshell, Ford just hired an excellent candidate.
“Doug is one of the world’s most respected engineering and product design leaders and has been a driving force behind breakthrough products across auto, tech and mobility, including at Apple, Tesla and Segway,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.
Field will be in charge of developing the Blue Oval Intelligence software suite, which supplies software for smart vehicles.
“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 the statement. “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.”
While this is wonderful news for Ford, Apple is having trouble keeping its head above water. In June, when several managers quit the team, which Field oversaw, the company’s quest to build its secret car suffered a major setback.
“This is probably the largest setback in a history filled with setbacks for Apple’s car project,” Apple reporter Mark Gurman. “As I wrote in January, there is no Apple Car launching anytime soon, not 2024, not 2025.”
“Further out now, if ever,” Gurman added.