Apple has hired a longtime Ford executive to provide the iPhone maker with automotive experience, indicating that his mysterious car project is still alive.
Desi Uikaszewicz, Ford’s global director of safety, will join the software giant’s efforts to develop an all-electric, autonomous car that has been plagued by delays, regulatory issues and executive departures. Bloomberg, who was be the first to announce a jobciting unnamed sources.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Uikaszewicz has held several roles since joining Ford 31 years ago, including developing electric vehicles, vehicle exteriors and interiors, and chassis components. She has worked on a range of Ford and Lincoln SUVs, as well as Ford Fiesta and Focus compact cars. Most recently, she has been responsible for all of the program’s current and future safety strategy (including autonomous vehicles), corporate policy development, advanced strategy development, field service activities, and program safety compliance. her biography on Ford’s website. Previously, she was the technical director for North American transportation programs.
Uikaszewicz can help Apple overcome the regulatory hurdles the company faces when testing self-driving car prototypes on public roads. Her experience in engineering and security protocols can also help Apple in her project.
Apple and Ford have been poaching executive talent from each other since the Cupertino, California-based company launched its so-called Project Titan in 2014. This project is perhaps Silicon Valley’s best-known secret, and has been rumored for years. In 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly acknowledged the program and stated that the company focused on autonomous driving systems.
Most of the news from the program in the five years since Cook’s speech was about new hires or high-profile layoffs. In September, Ford hires chief engineer Doug Field, who led Apple’s Special Projects team to provide the automaker with software and advanced technology expertise. Field, a former Tesla executive who helped launch the Model 3, has been replaced by Apple Watch executive Kevin Lynch. Lynch said he was aiming bring the car to market in 2024.
Credit: techcrunch.com /