'Apple Car' Project Lead Steve Zadesky to Leave Apple

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Apple VP of Product Design Steve Zadesky, who was believed to be leading Apple's electric vehicle development efforts since 2014, has informed colleagues that he will be leaving the company, according to The Wall Street Journal. He remains at Apple for now.

    Zadesky, a former Ford engineer, joined Apple in 1999 and worked on the iPod and iPhone during his 16-year career in Cupertino. He is also named on several U.S. patents and documents related to Liquidmetal, a malleable alloy which Apple owns the exclusive rights to.

    His impending departure from Apple is said to be for personal reasons, rather than an indication of his performance at the company, and marks a setback for Apple's electric vehicle plans:
    Apple has aggressively recruited engineers and other talent from Tesla, Ford, GM, Samsung, A123 Systems, Nvidia and elsewhere to work on the rumored "Apple Car" project, which has allegedly been called "Project Titan" internally. Just days ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk even called the "Apple Car" an "open secret."

    Last year, Apple also had discussions with a secure Bay Area testing facility for connected and autonomous vehicles, and met with the California DMV to review self-driving vehicle regulations. Further speculation arose when Apple registered a trio of auto-related domain names, including apple.car, apple.cars and apple.auto, earlier this month.

    Apple's electric vehicle could be approved for production by 2020, but some employees reportedly believe it "might take several more years" for the iPhone maker to develop a truly differentiated electric vehicle. The project has encountered some challenges internally due to a lack of clear goals, according to the report.

    Article Link: 'Apple Car' Project Lead Steve Zadesky to Leave Apple
     
  2. JCrz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    #2
    Apple is working on an pedelec (electric-assist) bike, not a car.
     
  3. 73b macrumors regular

    73b

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Location:
    East Coast
    #3
    I wonder if Apple will provide AppleCare for their cars.
     
  4. oneMadRssn macrumors 68030

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    I still think the analysts are wrong. The "Apple Car" project is not to develop a production car for sale; Apple will not be competing with Ford or GM directly for consumers. Rather, I think Apple sees a convergence between the mobile technology developed over the last decade and what will be used in cars in the next decade, and they are focusing on developing that technology so they can have some influence or part of that future. To that end, I believe they are developing all sorts of ideas, systems, and technologies that perform a wide range of car functions, but they are not planning on actually releasing an Apple Car. Instead, they will license or sell whatever they come up with.
     
  5. farewelwilliams macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #4
    that's a huge blow. he's also been heading a lot of Liquid Metal technology patents for Apple
     
  6. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #5
    But that would be unusual for Apple. They like owning the entire widget / experience.
     
  7. scaramoosh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    #6
    It's only one person, they probably have 20,000 people working on it and they don't pin all their hopes on one... I'm sure they have plenty of smart people capable of taking over. Apple also have the money to pay anyone to join their project, I bet anyone would for the sort of money they could offer.
     
  8. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #7
    He's a 16 year veteran who ran iPod and iPhone engineering before allegedly moving to this car project. He's got 108 granted patents and 172 patent applications to his name.

    How about MR waits for a confirmation from Apple before pushing that headline?
     
  9. oneMadRssn macrumors 68030

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    It's probably not unusual at all. We really have no idea how often Apple licenses their IP to competitors - it's just not something that is reported on or publicly disclosed. I bet they do a substantial amount of it.

    Further, they do it today to some degree with CarPlay. Imagine something like CarPlay7 - autonomous driving. Companies have to buy Apple's sensors and Apple's software to incorporate their technology.
     
  10. farewelwilliams macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #9

    pushing what headline? check the liquidmetal patents filed by Apple. Steve Zadesky is listed in 90% of the patents.
     
  11. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #10
    That's 100% unApple like. Apple created a cell phone and decieded to compete directly with Motorola and RIMM. Why would they go the Google route now and simply focus on software for smartcars?
     
  12. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #11
    Everything that's known about Apple suggests otherwise.
     
  13. BillyMatt87 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    #12
    Especially since Apple's quality of software has declined immensely in recent years
     
  14. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #13
    Given that it's in the WSJ and says he's leaving for personal reasons, I'm guessing Apple "leaked" this to get ahead of it.
     
  15. BillyMatt87 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    #14
    Does Apple really need to make a car? I mean, it already feels like Apple is starting to spread itself a bit too thin trying to everything under the sun. They need to take some steps back and improve their existing products (especially iOS and OS X).
     
  16. Rogifan, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016

    Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #15
    The headline that he's leaving. Apple has not confirmed it. And I think he's high enough up in the company that they'd have to (like they did when user interface VP Greg Christie left). Maybe some of the birdies will leak more info to John Gruber or Matthew Panzerino though these guys are usually less clued in on the hardware side of Apple (for example Gruber had info about user interface VP Alan Dye but knew nothing about industrial design VP Richard Howarth).

    Well they need something to replace iPhone. It won't be Apple's cash cow forever. And Apple's current valuation certainly isn't driven by the Mac.
     
  17. farewelwilliams macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    #16

    You can't really make a major technological leap with just being responsible with the dashboard touch screen in a car. Take a look at all of the problems with a car. Hell, just getting into a car is such a bad experience if you're in a tight parking spot. You have to form yourself to the car seat with the steering wheel in a way while holding the door to make sure it doesn't it the car next to you.

    We are on a rumor site. That's a given.
     
  18. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #17
    This site is still called MacRumors. ;)
     
  19. oneMadRssn macrumors 68030

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #18
    The consumer car sales industry right now is very unApple like. Think of how many components in a car are shared and standardized, and how many must be this way due to various regulations. Apple using off-the-shelf tires, for example, seems very unApple like to me. Also, unless Tesla succeeds at taking down the dealerships, I doubt Apple would be willing to start franchised dealers for their cars. Overall, I think there is a lot in that industry that is unApple like as it is, and thus Apple wouldn't get into it at that level. Plus, there's more money in developing the tech and working with partners.

    I don't think that much that is known about Apple is at all applicable. Smartphones and tablets are pretty close in technology to desktops and laptops. Taking the leap to production cars is about as monumental of a leap as Apple becoming a supermarket grocery store chain. I don't think past behavior can really be used here. Plus, as the OP says, Apple has been hiring some very non-Apple people for this project.
     
  20. diddl14 macrumors 6502a

    diddl14

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    #19
    Reading his resume on LinkedIn, I can see the guy is brilliant but I would never had figured out that he would be critical to an Apple Car project. Beats product line sounds like a more natural fit..
     
  21. mac666er macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #20
    And they never will. Not before he leaves.

    This appeared in the Wall Street Journal. They do check their sources. That is good enough material for a rumor for me. Almost done deal. Almost.
     
  22. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio
    #21
    Rumors? Posted here? Inconceivable!!!
     
  23. oneMadRssn macrumors 68030

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #22
    I agree. I think they are thinking far bigger than just dashboard touch screen. Remember a little while back GM released a concept platform. (I think it was the hy-wire). It was basically a skateboard-shape the size of a car; 4 wheels and a platform. Anyone would be able to license that platform, or buy it outright from GM, and then add their own design to the top - be it sedan, pickup, van, convertible, etc. I'm picturing something like that - Apple-powered, Apple-controlled, and subject to Apple's QA; but not Apple manufactured.
     
  24. iSee macrumors 68040

    iSee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #23
    There's no reason to think Apple is secretly licensing substantial technology to anyone.

    They do plenty of licensing in public... for *accessories*, apps and other products that support their products. And they seems to exert as much control as they can get away with over these licensees.

    You can believe it if you want, but it's with no evidence and it seems out of character.

    It would also be legally tricky for them -- as a publically traded company -- to run a licensing business of any size without disclosing it in some way.
     
  25. BillyMatt87 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    #24
    I agree but Apple is a consumer electronics brand, not a car manufacturer.
     
  26. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2001
    #25
    Your description of the market makes it seem more likely they are going to release their own car. When they released the iPhone, they made a lots of demands in order to control the entire experience. No carrier apps, no carrier branding. Control the entire experience. They control software updates. The carriers don't get in the way.

    To think Apple would create a flagship-type product and expect them to rely on 3rd party dealerships, repair, and experience to the end user? It's not going to happen.
     

Share This Page