Doug Field Returns to Apple from Tesla for Project Titan

Tesla’s Model 3 production head has returned to Apple

Tesla’s Model 3 production head has returned to Apple

Doug Field, who left the Cupertino-based tech giant five years ago to become Tesla's senior vice-president of engineering, moved back to Apple last month as part of the company's "Project Titan" team, The Daily Telegraph reports. Last year, he was put in charge of the electric automaker's aggressive drive to ramp up production of the Model 3.

He previously worked at the firm on engineering Apple's Mac computers, alongside Titan's current head Bob Mansfield. The hire was earlier reported by website Daring Fireball.

"While the project remains pretty opaque and tough to gauge, the hiring of the man who oversaw Tesla production â€" right after Apple poached a Waymo self-driving engineer - is a pretty interesting clue that suggests Apple might be reviving plans to develop a auto once again.

Field had been managing Tesla's engineering and production. The two worked together on Mac hardware for years, so now that Field has Tesla experience under his belt, his re-hiring perhaps means that Apple is serious about making a auto again.

Apple, of course, hasn't confirmed this - just that Field is back at the company - but it certainly makes sense considering his Tesla experience. The electric-car maker officially announced his departure in July. Although the project was believed to be slowing, an affidavit used in an FBI investigation and revealed in July indicated that Apple is involved in auto components. He determined it would be best to work on the underlying technology and then later decide if the company would return to building a vehicle or partner with an existing carmaker.

Doug Field is apparently oscillating his services between two U.S. tech giants: Apple and Tesla as reports confirm that the technology specialist has gone back to his former organization Apple. If Apple is really ramping up Project Titan again, I'm sure we'll hear more about it in the near future.

Luke Amos sends message to Tottenham Hotspur fans on Twitter
Sometimes those ones are harder to miss, but at the same time, if you take your eye off the ball, you can head it over. It's a long season and we have got to improve but it was a positive start.

"If you don't make it at Tesla", Musk added, "you go work at Apple". However, by April, costly delays manufacturing the company's four-door sedan led CEO Elon Musk to intervene and take over these responsibilities. A month later, Tesla said Field was on extended leave to spend time with his family and "recharge".

According to the Financial Times, Tesla's Musk once described Apple's auto project as the "Tesla graveyard".

Project Titan made news last month after former Apple engineer Xiaolang Zhang was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Jose Airport and was accused of stealing the company's trade secrets related to its self-driving cars. While Apple's auto project has been rumored to have been scaled back over the last few years, a major hire like Field from Tesla suggests Apple still has big plans in the works for their so-called Apple vehicle. He immediately shuttered the teams working on the physical auto hardware.

The hire is significant for Apple, with Field likely joining the company's auto unit, known as Project Titan.

Apple appears to be ploughing ahead with plans to build a driverless auto.

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