Monday, August 13, 2018

Doug Field Back at Apple After Stint at Tesla As Chief Vehicle Engineer

Doug Field, who once worked as Apple’s vice president of Mac hardware, is returning to the company after a five-year stint at Tesla. He’s coming back to work on Apple’s all-secretive “Project Titan” automotive initiative, according to Daring Fireball

Apple’s spokesperson has confirmed that Doug is backed at Apple, though the company did not confirm on what project or role Doug is working on. However, given the knowledge and expertise that Doug Field has gained after working at Tesla for almost 5 years, it is obvious that he must be working on Project Titan at Apple.

Despite Daring Fireball suggesting that this might show that Apple is still interested in developing its own vehicle, I doubt this is the case here. Sure, Apple might be working on a prototype of an autonomous vehicle for testing and development purposes, but I doubt the company is really interested in mass producing autonomous vehicles. The last report surrounding Project Titan also mentioned that Apple has scaled back its ambitions of a self-driving vehicle and is instead working on the technology behind it.

With Apple and Tesla jockeying employees back and forth for years, one hire doesn’t necessarily mean that much, at least on the surface. Nonetheless, as Daring Fireball explains:
But I think 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. That rumor never really made sense to me anyway — 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.
Do you think this hiring represents something significant? Let us know below.



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