Apple is said to have chosen a new executive to oversee the development of its secretive self-driving car division. According to Bloomberg, following the departure of, who left the iPhone maker for Ford earlier this week, the company has appointed Kevin Lynch to oversee Mission Titan.
- Expertise: Lynch, a former Adobe executive, joined Apple in 2013 and has led the company’s Apple Watch and health divisions since then, frequently appearing on WatchOS update presentations. He is thought to be taking over for Field, who led the company’s automotive efforts for three years.
- A veteran: Field is an Apple veteran who returned to Apple in 2018 as VP of its special projects group, focusing on the creation of a self-driving electric vehicle, internally known as Project Titan, after spending five years at Tesla.
- Setback: Mark Gurman, journalist and Apple expert tweeted that Field’s departure is “probably the largest setback” for the company’s car project and that the expected launch date is “further out now, if ever”. A Reuters report in December said that Apple expected to begin its car production by 2024.
- Prior engagements: Lynch has been involved in the software side of things at Apple, and Bloomberg reports that his appointment could indicate that Apple’s car is still in the software development stage. Despite Field’s departure, the company is said to be left with hundreds of engineers still working on Project Titan, with Lynch as the new head.
- Experienced: Previous heads of Apple’s car division have all had experience working in the automobile industry, unlike Lynch. Steve Zadesky, the car project’s first manager, was a former Ford engineer, while Field was a senior engineer at Tesla. Only time will tell if the car project, which has faced many roadblocks over the years, will pass the test.