Ford poaches executive leading the 'Apple Car' project

Posted:
in General Discussion
Ford has confirmed that it is hiring Apple executive Doug Field, who was thought to be working on the "Apple Car," to serve as an advanced technology officer for the automaker.

Credit: AppleInsider
Credit: AppleInsider


The automaker is bringing Field on to serve as its advanced technology and embedded systems officer, Ford said in a statement Tuesday. Field previously worked at Apple and Tesla.

"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.

Field started his career at an engineer at Ford. During his first stint at Apple, the executive worked on Mac hardware for years before departing the Cupertino tech giant to work at Tesla, where he played a pivotal role in launching the Model 3.

After five years at Tesla, Field returned to Apple to reportedly work on "Project Titan" -- Apple's secretive self-driving car initiative. Losing Field is a blow to the project, which has undergone several restructurings and staff layoffs since its inception around 2014.

According to Bloomberg, some Apple engineers who are currently working on the "Apple Car" believe that the company could release a product in five to seven years.

Rumors of an Apple-branded vehicle picked up momentum earlier in 2021 when the company was said to be in talks with Korean automakers. Although those discussions eventually fizzled out, there are still indications that Apple is continuing some type of vehicular technology development.

Back in August, Apple was said to be negotiating with Korea-based manufacturers of electric vehicle components. The company has also expanded its fleet of self-driving test vehicles that are being operated on public California roads.

On Friday, a mysterious company thought to be linked to Apple also purchased a former Chrysler proving ground in Arizona. That site has previously been used by Apple for vehicle testing, reports suggest.

Read on AppleInsider
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    dk49dk49 Posts: 185member
    Whoa! Ford just poached the guy who knows everything about the Apple car. Why did Ford need him? To tell them what exactly Apple is working on and then try to copy that? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 23
    Ford will be Apple’s partner on the car project. The Ford Titan, designed by Apple. As King Feisal said, “It is written.”
    watto_cobradav
  • Reply 3 of 23
    Is it just me, or does this seem like a huge liability? Now, ostensibly, Ford will have a perfect view of the Apple Car project that it can start emulating asap.

    Ford guy: "I really think consumer cars with steering wheels are the future!"
    Ex Apple guy: "Are you sure about that, Bob? I have a feeling autonomous driving as a service is the future (wink, wink)."

    You would think that companies like Apple, working on high-level projects, would have non-compete clauses or something, at least for management positions that include having knowledge of entire projects.
    watto_cobradk49
  • Reply 4 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,301member
    dk49 said:
    Whoa! Ford just poached the guy who knows everything about the Apple car. Why did Ford need him? To tell them what exactly Apple is working on and then try to copy that? 
    Engineers and managers, even upper ones, are constantly changing jobs, looking for greener fields or a more conveniently located employer. Whatever it is Apple is doing the entire car industry already knows. 
    ravnorodomdavgreg
  • Reply 5 of 23
    dk49dk49 Posts: 185member
    gatorguy said:
    dk49 said:
    Whoa! Ford just poached the guy who knows everything about the Apple car. Why did Ford need him? To tell them what exactly Apple is working on and then try to copy that? 
    Engineers and managers, even upper ones, are constantly changing jobs, looking for greener fields or a more conveniently located employer. Whatever it is Apple is doing the entire car industry already knows. 
    If the entire car industry already knows what Apple is doing, then why do you think Ford needed Doug? I am sure he's a super expensive hire for Ford. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    gatorguy said:
    dk49 said:
    Whoa! Ford just poached the guy who knows everything about the Apple car. Why did Ford need him? To tell them what exactly Apple is working on and then try to copy that? 
    Engineers and managers, even upper ones, are constantly changing jobs, looking for greener fields or a more conveniently located employer. Whatever it is Apple is doing the entire car industry already knows. 
    That was probably Eric's excuse for betraying Steve's trust.
    davpatchythepirate
  • Reply 7 of 23
    Since car companies already have manufacturing infrastructure in place and they prefer to produce EV cars of their own instead of working with Apple who will be their competitor. Car companies don’t need Apple. It’s Apple who needs them. I don’t think Apple can pull this Titan project off without starting from scratch liked what Tesla did.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,497member
    Since car companies already have manufacturing infrastructure in place and they prefer to produce EV cars of their own instead of working with Apple who will be their competitor. Car companies don’t need Apple. It’s Apple who needs them. I don’t think Apple can pull this Titan project off without starting from scratch liked what Tesla did.
    Tesla absolutely didn't start from scratch, nor was Elon a founder.

    The Tesla Roadster was based on the chassis of the Lotus Elite. Even today, Tesla lags the "dinosaurs" of the industry in design, build quality, and service, and frankly, is getting crushed by VW in the EU, a rather large and competitive market.

    AFAICT, Apple did in fact "start from scratch" some years ago, and has the most necessary ingredient for successfully building a modern automobile; cash. Not a guarantee of success, but lack of it, is a guarantee of failure.
    buckalecroundaboutnow
  • Reply 9 of 23
    dk49 said:
    Whoa! Ford just poached the guy who knows everything about the Apple car. Why did Ford need him? To tell them what exactly Apple is working on and then try to copy that? 
    What is it with you deranged people? This guy started at Ford, went to APPLE, went to Tesla, back to APPLE, and now off back to Ford. It’s not all stealing and copying all the damn time. People move on from job to job for many different reasons beyond what you’re suggesting. 
    tmaygatorguybeowulfschmidtchemengin1byronl
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Is it just me, or does this seem like a huge liability? Now, ostensibly, Ford will have a perfect view of the Apple Car project that it can start emulating asap.

    Ford guy: "I really think consumer cars with steering wheels are the future!"
    Ex Apple guy: "Are you sure about that, Bob? I have a feeling autonomous driving as a service is the future (wink, wink)."

    You would think that companies like Apple, working on high-level projects, would have non-compete clauses or something, at least for management positions that include having knowledge of entire projects.
    You’re wrong. You do know he’s worked for Apple twice. With also for Tesla and Ford previously. 
    gatorguy
  • Reply 11 of 23
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    dk49 said:
    Whoa! Ford just poached the guy who knows everything about the Apple car. Why did Ford need him? To tell them what exactly Apple is working on and then try to copy that? 
    Engineers and managers, even upper ones, are constantly changing jobs, looking for greener fields or a more conveniently located employer. Whatever it is Apple is doing the entire car industry already knows. 
    That was probably Eric's excuse for betraying Steve's trust.
    Oh shut up already! Ford, Apple, Tesla, Apple, and now Ford. This is what is job career has been. Apple twice. So get off of your dumbass theory already. 
    tmay
  • Reply 12 of 23
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    dk49 said:
    Whoa! Ford just poached the guy who knows everything about the Apple car. Why did Ford need him? To tell them what exactly Apple is working on and then try to copy that? 
    Engineers and managers, even upper ones, are constantly changing jobs, looking for greener fields or a more conveniently located employer. Whatever it is Apple is doing the entire car industry already knows. 
    That was probably Eric's excuse for betraying Steve's trust.
    Oh shut up already! Ford, Apple, Tesla, Apple, and now Ford. This is what is job career has been. Apple twice. So get off of your dumbass theory already. 
    Couldn't have said it better myself.
    chemengin1
  • Reply 13 of 23
    Is it just me, or does this seem like a huge liability? Now, ostensibly, Ford will have a perfect view of the Apple Car project that it can start emulating asap.

    Ford guy: "I really think consumer cars with steering wheels are the future!"
    Ex Apple guy: "Are you sure about that, Bob? I have a feeling autonomous driving as a service is the future (wink, wink)."

    You would think that companies like Apple, working on high-level projects, would have non-compete clauses or something, at least for management positions that include having knowledge of entire projects.
    Apple is not an auto manufacturer, so there is no conflict/compete. 
  • Reply 14 of 23
    Interesting how often he switches. 
  • Reply 15 of 23
    Ford does not need this guy , but a good experienced engineer is always welcome.

    The Mustang Mach E and F-150 Lightning shows Ford is off to a good start with EVs.

    Regarding a comment concerning VW, the UI on VW EVs is horrible. The UI is slow, laggy and not well designed. The I.D. 4 is a decent, but not great car and uses the same foundation as the ID.3. And yes Tesla quality and reliability are questionable - Tesla is trying to suppress data reporting on their cars quality and reliability.

    I personally still think Apple would be better off developing a SW/HW package that could be sold to automakers rather than making cars outright. Anybody who has extensively shopped for a car knows that most touchscreen and capacitance interface stuff is awful. No touch anything will ever be as good as a hardware switch.
    edited September 8 tmay
  • Reply 16 of 23
    davgreg said:
    Ford does not need this guy , but a good experienced engineer is always welcome.

    The Mustang Mach E and F-150 Lightning shows Ford is off to a good start with EVs.

    Regarding a comment concerning VW, the UI on VW EVs is horrible. The UI is slow, laggy and not well designed. The I.D. 4 is a decent, but not great car and uses the same foundation as the ID.3. And yes Tesla quality and reliability are questionable - Tesla is trying to suppress data reporting on their cars quality and reliability.

    I personally still think Apple would be better off developing a SW/HW package that could be sold to automakers rather than making cars outright. Anybody who has extensively shopped for a car knows that most touchscreen and capacitance interface stuff is awful. No touch anything will ever be as good as a hardware switch.
    Fully agree.  I Don’t really understand why Apple would want to build autos since it’s low margin business with an enormous amount of working capital. Apple’s expertise is in software and human to hardware interactions this is where they can have a significant impact on the auto market.  The established auto companies  need to team with Apple to get there software on their platforms. I believe Apples project Titan is in the end a software-hardware package to sell to the auto companies. I really can’t believe Apple wants to build and sell cars.  
    davdavgreg
  • Reply 17 of 23
    byronlbyronl Posts: 182member
    what the fuck. why would a tesla and apple employee, go work for ford??? they’re not a leader in anything and far behind in ev’s. (and i believe there’s a high chance they’re gonna go bankrupt but that’s another discussion)
     they probably made him a FAT offer. 
    dk49
  • Reply 18 of 23
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,497member
    davgreg said:
    Ford does not need this guy , but a good experienced engineer is always welcome.

    The Mustang Mach E and F-150 Lightning shows Ford is off to a good start with EVs.

    Regarding a comment concerning VW, the UI on VW EVs is horrible. The UI is slow, laggy and not well designed. The I.D. 4 is a decent, but not great car and uses the same foundation as the ID.3. And yes Tesla quality and reliability are questionable - Tesla is trying to suppress data reporting on their cars quality and reliability.

    I personally still think Apple would be better off developing a SW/HW package that could be sold to automakers rather than making cars outright. Anybody who has extensively shopped for a car knows that most touchscreen and capacitance interface stuff is awful. No touch anything will ever be as good as a hardware switch.
    Fully agree.  I Don’t really understand why Apple would want to build autos since it’s low margin business with an enormous amount of working capital. Apple’s expertise is in software and human to hardware interactions this is where they can have a significant impact on the auto market.  The established auto companies  need to team with Apple to get there software on their platforms. I believe Apples project Titan is in the end a software-hardware package to sell to the auto companies. I really can’t believe Apple wants to build and sell cars.  
    I see the Apple Car as a service, not a consumer product. The financials for that are quite different than for a consumer product, and the service/support is for fleets, not individual vehicles, simplifying Apple's entry into the market.

    I could be wrong, of course.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,092member
    tmay said:
    davgreg said:
    Ford does not need this guy , but a good experienced engineer is always welcome.

    The Mustang Mach E and F-150 Lightning shows Ford is off to a good start with EVs.

    Regarding a comment concerning VW, the UI on VW EVs is horrible. The UI is slow, laggy and not well designed. The I.D. 4 is a decent, but not great car and uses the same foundation as the ID.3. And yes Tesla quality and reliability are questionable - Tesla is trying to suppress data reporting on their cars quality and reliability.

    I personally still think Apple would be better off developing a SW/HW package that could be sold to automakers rather than making cars outright. Anybody who has extensively shopped for a car knows that most touchscreen and capacitance interface stuff is awful. No touch anything will ever be as good as a hardware switch.
    Fully agree.  I Don’t really understand why Apple would want to build autos since it’s low margin business with an enormous amount of working capital. Apple’s expertise is in software and human to hardware interactions this is where they can have a significant impact on the auto market.  The established auto companies  need to team with Apple to get there software on their platforms. I believe Apples project Titan is in the end a software-hardware package to sell to the auto companies. I really can’t believe Apple wants to build and sell cars.  
    I see the Apple Car as a service, not a consumer product. The financials for that are quite different than for a consumer product, and the service/support is for fleets, not individual vehicles, simplifying Apple's entry into the market.

    I could be wrong, of course.
    The financials may be different, but are they better?  Has Uber ever made money?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 20 of 23
    cg27cg27 Posts: 134member
    Will be interesting to see how Ford’s 6 year agreement with Google to implement Android Auto in most vehicles will work out, especially with Field on board now.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-02/morgan-stanley-says-ford-google-deal-may-yield-5-billion-profit
    patchythepirate
Sign In or Register to comment.