Apple hires a long-time Ford executive as the iPhone maker launches its EV car project

Apple has hired a long-time Ford executive to provide the iPhone maker with automation technology, indicating that the company’s enigmatic car design project is still alive and well. Desi Ujkashevic, Ford’s global leader in safety technology, will join the software industry’s efforts to develop a fully-fledged electric vehicle, which has been plagued by delays, regulatory issues, and departure authorities. Bloomberg was the first to report hiring, citing widget sources.

Ujkashevic has worked in several roles since joining Ford 31 years ago, including the development of EVs, exterior and interior cars and chassis cars, according to his LinkedIn profile. It has worked on many Ford and Lincoln SUVs, as well as Ford’s Fiesta and Compact cars. Most recently, it has been responsible for all current and future system security procedures (including autonomous vehicles), corporate law enforcement, regulatory development, site operations and system security compliance, according to its bio on the website Ford. He is a former technical director for North American automotive programs.

Ujkashevic could help Apple navigate the industry’s strategic challenges in testing personal driving models on public roads. His expertise in technology and security procedures can also help guide Apple in its project. Apple and Ford have poached from each other’s executive talent pool since Cupertino, California-based company launched its so-called Project Titan in 2014. The project is perhaps Silicon Valley’s best known secret and rumors of swirled around its planet for years. In 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly acknowledged the plan and said the company was facing autonomous driver programs.

Most reports come out of the system in the five years since Cook’s comments have been about new employees or high profile departures. In September, Ford hired technology director Doug Field, who heads Apple’s project design team, to provide training with expertise in software and advanced technology. Field, a former Tesla executive who helped launch the Model 3, was replaced by Apple Watch leader Kevin Lynch. Lynch says it plans to bring a car to market by 2024.

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