Apple hires Ford veteran for 'Apple Car' project

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Vehicle and safety engineering expert Desi Ujkashevic has been hired to work on the Apple Car project, following over 30 years at Ford.

Desi Ujkashevic (Source: Ford)
Desi Ujkashevic (Source: Ford)


Despite reports that efforts toward an "Apple Car" have stalled and the team dissolved, Apple has now hired another automotive industry veteran.

According to Bloomberg, unspecified sources say that Desi Ujkashevic has specifically been hired for car project. It will be the first time that Ujkashevic has worked for anywhere but the Ford Motor Company, where she joined as an engineer in 1991.

She rose from engineer through manager, then on to chief engineer, and director. In her more than three decades with Ford, she has been responsible both for engineering divisions, and for leading design teams.

Bloomberg says that according to Ford, Ujkashevic has retired. Her LinkedIn page lists her as employed by Ford up to March 2022, with no subsequent company.

At time of writing, Ford's media center website continues to list Ujkashevic as the company's current Global Director of Global Automotive Safety Engineering Office.

Ujkashevic's move to Apple, whether she was poached from Ford or had already retired, follow's Ford's hiring of ex-Apple executive Doug Field. He was hired in September 2021 as an advanced technology officer for Ford.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    y2any2an Posts: 126member
    Sigh. Stop mischaracterising. Hiring someone legally is not poaching. 
    MicDorseylolliverbeowulfschmidtdarkvader
  • Reply 2 of 11
    cg27cg27 Posts: 171member
    Seems there’s been quite a bit of cross pollination between Ford and Apple at the EV leadership level over the years.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    KTRKTR Posts: 242member
    Will apple EVER get his self driving car off the ground?  they Need to look at all Tesla mistakes and NOT do the samething

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    hodarhodar Posts: 348member
    Pretty brave move, leaving Ford with 30 years experience.

    Apple Fires 200 Employees From Its Electric Car Project (news18.com)
    darkvader
  • Reply 5 of 11
    thrangthrang Posts: 933member
    hodar said:
    Pretty brave move, leaving Ford with 30 years experience.

    Apple Fires 200 Employees From Its Electric Car Project (news18.com)
    The article is from 2019, speculative, so so what?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,832member
    •Marc newson designed the O21C car for Ford as a design exercise in 1999.
    •Newson and Ive, via Love From, have a deal to design cars for Ferrari as of September 2021
    •Ive and Newson are known as "car guys" - From the New Yorker: "He and Newson are car guys, and they feel disappointed with most modern cars"
    •Eddy Cue joined Ferrari's Board of Directors in November 2012.
    •Love From is alleged to continue doing design work for Apple on an unknown basis/project.
    •Apple hires a high level Ford safety exec indicating they are still serious about building a car.
    •Apple hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW AG’s electric car division in 2021.
    •Apple hired etc.etc.etc.

    Seems to me the car project is still very much on and moving forward. And as far as looking at what Tesla did wrong, why bother if you are hiring exerienced designers, executives, engineers and experts from within the industry? The mistake Tesla made was not hiring anyone from the car industry until their production line was in chaos. Like Apple would ever do anything like that.




    watto_cobraJWSC
  • Reply 7 of 11
    thttht Posts: 4,449member
    I'm afraid their window for market entry is closing. It still sounds like they are 3 to 4 years away and that will be too late in 2025 imo. As a EV maker, one with ambitions to dent the market starting 2025, they would need to:
    1. Develop a supply chain for solid state batteries, with enough mass production for a 300 mile range $50k base model. From component supply to assembled structural battery package.
    2. Build out a supercharging station network along major highways every 100 miles.
    3. Develop service stations and service ecosystem
    4. Ensure carbon neutral processes and energy supply from components, materials, and recycling
    Don't get this waiting at all, especially for computer driving. They need to get something on the market and iterate, and needed to do it in 2020 let alone now. The don't need to have self driving. There are many hard things to get built up to even have something on the market.

    muthuk_vanalingamdarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 872member
    She'll be gone within two years.  Whether that's because she's fired, leaves to work at a car company that stands a chance of actually building a car, or just decides it's time to retire and count her money is the only question.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    1348513485 Posts: 234member
    tht said:
    I'm afraid their window for market entry is closing. It still sounds like they are 3 to 4 years away and that will be too late in 2025 imo. As a EV maker, one with ambitions to dent the market starting 2025, they would need to:
    1. Develop a supply chain for solid state batteries, with enough mass production for a 300 mile range $50k base model. From component supply to assembled structural battery package.
    2. Build out a supercharging station network along major highways every 100 miles.
    3. Develop service stations and service ecosystem
    4. Ensure carbon neutral processes and energy supply from components, materials, and recycling
    Don't get this waiting at all, especially for computer driving. They need to get something on the market and iterate, and needed to do it in 2020 let alone now. The don't need to have self driving. There are many hard things to get built up to even have something on the market.

    Why on earth would Apple's "window for market entry" be closing? It's just competition, not a race. Will people simply stop buying cars after buying an existing model now? After all, Apple was 100 years "too late" with their first phone, and decades late with their first computer, yet still managed to sell a few units.

    1. Batteries will be available, there is no "sole source". 
    2. Super charging stations will be vehicle generic, either due to market forces, or by government edict. Are gas stations specific to only a select vehicle? If a corporation was funding charging stations, you can bet they will want to charge every EV on the road.
    3. Service stations are not a barrier, most issues will be electronically diagnosed and most components will be modular and easily replaced.
    4. Apple has always been ahead of the curve on carbon neutral energy supply compared to other corporations. 
    programmerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,421member
    13485 said:
    tht said:
    I'm afraid their window for market entry is closing. It still sounds like they are 3 to 4 years away and that will be too late in 2025 imo. As a EV maker, one with ambitions to dent the market starting 2025, they would need to:
    1. Develop a supply chain for solid state batteries, with enough mass production for a 300 mile range $50k base model. From component supply to assembled structural battery package.
    2. Build out a supercharging station network along major highways every 100 miles.
    3. Develop service stations and service ecosystem
    4. Ensure carbon neutral processes and energy supply from components, materials, and recycling
    Don't get this waiting at all, especially for computer driving. They need to get something on the market and iterate, and needed to do it in 2020 let alone now. The don't need to have self driving. There are many hard things to get built up to even have something on the market.

    Why on earth would Apple's "window for market entry" be closing? It's just competition, not a race. Will people simply stop buying cars after buying an existing model now? After all, Apple was 100 years "too late" with their first phone, and decades late with their first computer, yet still managed to sell a few units.

    1. Batteries will be available, there is no "sole source". 
    2. Super charging stations will be vehicle generic, either due to market forces, or by government edict. Are gas stations specific to only a select vehicle? If a corporation was funding charging stations, you can bet they will want to charge every EV on the road.
    3. Service stations are not a barrier, most issues will be electronically diagnosed and most components will be modular and easily replaced.
    4. Apple has always been ahead of the curve on carbon neutral energy supply compared to other corporations. 
    What he said ^^^... plus Apple is probably still trying to figure out what product to build.  Jumping into the existing market with a me-too product is not Apple's approach.  They need to have a differentiator, and it takes a long time to figure out what that is and how to build it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 872member
    13485 said:
    tht said:
    I'm afraid their window for market entry is closing. It still sounds like they are 3 to 4 years away and that will be too late in 2025 imo. As a EV maker, one with ambitions to dent the market starting 2025, they would need to:
    1. Develop a supply chain for solid state batteries, with enough mass production for a 300 mile range $50k base model. From component supply to assembled structural battery package.
    2. Build out a supercharging station network along major highways every 100 miles.
    3. Develop service stations and service ecosystem
    4. Ensure carbon neutral processes and energy supply from components, materials, and recycling
    Don't get this waiting at all, especially for computer driving. They need to get something on the market and iterate, and needed to do it in 2020 let alone now. The don't need to have self driving. There are many hard things to get built up to even have something on the market.

    Why on earth would Apple's "window for market entry" be closing? It's just competition, not a race. Will people simply stop buying cars after buying an existing model now? After all, Apple was 100 years "too late" with their first phone, and decades late with their first computer, yet still managed to sell a few units.

    1. Batteries will be available, there is no "sole source". 
    2. Super charging stations will be vehicle generic, either due to market forces, or by government edict. Are gas stations specific to only a select vehicle? If a corporation was funding charging stations, you can bet they will want to charge every EV on the road.
    3. Service stations are not a barrier, most issues will be electronically diagnosed and most components will be modular and easily replaced.
    4. Apple has always been ahead of the curve on carbon neutral energy supply compared to other corporations. 

    There are time 'windows' for getting into certain markets.  Apple came out with a phone when the smartphone was really just getting started, creating a new smartphone OS and hardware system today would be nearly impossible for any company.  Apple came out with the Apple ][ at exactly the most opportune time, a few years earlier the technology was too expensive, a few years later the market was locked up by Apple and MS.
    The window for creating a new car company is probably already closed.  Tesla jumped in it, Apple... didn't.
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