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Apple's Car project recently lost one of its engineering directors, with Michael Schwekutsch departing the company to join air taxi startup Archer Aviation.

Apple-car-wheel-icon-feature-triad.jpg

As discovered by CNBC, Schwekutsch updated his LinkedIn profile to note that he has taken on a role of senior vice president of engineering at Archer. Archer is an aerospace company that is developing an all-electric aircraft that supports vertical takeoff and landing for navigation within cities.

Schwekutsch first joined the Apple Car project in March of 2019, and he served as a senior director of engineering on the special project group, aka the Apple Car team. Prior to that, he was Tesla's vice president of engineering.

Apple's car development has seen continual management shifts over the course of the last few years. Back in September, special projects vice president Doug Field left Apple for Ford after a three-year stint heading up Apple Car development alongside Bob Mansfield and John Giannandrea.

AI chief John Giannandrea is still overseeing Apple Car development, but with Field's departure, Apple recently brought on Apple Watch chief Kevin Lynch to pitch in. Under Lynch's leadership, the Apple Car project is moving ahead, with Apple aiming to produce a fully autonomous electric vehicle. Apple wants to design a self-driving car that does not require human intervention, a goal that car manufacturers have yet to achieve.

Apple is planning to launch a self-driving car within four years with an aggressive launch timeline around 2025, but whether Apple can achieve that goal remains to be seen.

Article Link: Apple Car Hardware Engineer Leaves for Air Taxi Startup
 

Cosmosent

macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
2,240
2,575
La Jolla, CA
IMO, Apple should have started-off with a 3.6-liter square-design in-line six ICE & with a six-speed manual transmission, so they could Fast Track the whole effort, & get it to the Track for proper testing !

And, if Apple had the bottom-end of the Engine properly-designed to support a 9K RPM redline, they could use it for PR everywhere !

And Yes, it would be referred to as the Apple Race Car !

The EV version could then be a follow-on effort.

Tim, are you seeing this ?
 
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tongxinshe

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2008
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After getting familiar with the situation, everyone know that Apple has a very slight chance of setting up a splash in this area. Apple stepped too late into this area, and makes progress too slowly. It falls farther and farther behind Google in the autonomous driving technology (mostly depend on the company's AI technology) and behind Tesla in the electronics vehicle building experience.
 

mdriftmeyer

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2004
3,412
1,159
Pacific Northwest
None of these ‘losses' are key personnel. They are managers. Whether from Apple, IBM, Sony, Tesla, Microsoft, you name it. They spend 95% of their time in office meetings, reading emails and checking up on progress of their teams work.

There was a reason Ives said the team at Apple was the strongest when he left. They were doing all the design work, with him having final oversight only. These MVP talents aren't athletes in professional sports. Stop sensationalizing them. Every key person in Apple has a special project(s) focus with scores of the best where they are constantly focused on their idea eventually reaching to market.

Drive train engineers aren't key personnel. You can hire dozens working on cutting edge projects in universities around the globe to replace them. Stock options take years to vest and when you jump you leave all unvested at the door. This guy took a post with a SVP because he's been promised this company when it goes public he'll get his huge pay day. In a startup, everyone is an SVP early on. Then the hierarchies are formed and the grunts come in and do the bulk of the work. The man worked at Apple for under 3 years. His options weren't large or he'd have stayed. His special projects group focus must not have kept his interest. You don't go from autonomous vehicles to sky cab because you are the most insightful financially.
 

Danoc

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2011
483
651
Anyone else think this so-called Apple Car is going to turn into the next Apple TV which went from premium high-end TV ... to a cheap little box you connect to your current TV?
I do.

The only car I could envision is a Car as a Service type of business. With a lot of automation and infotainment. Not your traditional dad's car.
 
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sdf

macrumors 6502a
Jan 29, 2004
518
505
It's weird how every staffing change on this project — which currently affects no consumers in the world — is breathlessly reported. :)
 
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citysnaps

macrumors G3
Oct 10, 2011
8,541
15,759
San Francisco
After getting familiar with the situation, everyone know that Apple has a very slight chance of setting up a splash in this area. Apple stepped too late into this area, and makes progress too slowly. It falls farther and farther behind Google in the autonomous driving technology (mostly depend on the company's AI technology) and behind Tesla in the electronics vehicle building experience.

This reminds me of the time Apple had the audacity to step up and compete against Motorola, Ericsson, and Nokia (at the time collectively referred to as MEN, all giants in the cellular telecom industry), creating iPhone.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
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Temecula, CA
This reminds me of the time Apple had the audacity to step up and compete against Motorola, Ericsson, and Nokia (at the time collectively referred to as MEN, all giants in the cellular telecom industry), creating iPhone.
And how many years did Apple spend on creating the iPhone?
I think the Apple car is in the makes for at least 7 or 8 years…

How many EV manufacturers are out there today, besides the established big ones who also make EVs today? A lot…
The EV and autonomous world is moving FAST, Apple car is moving SLOW (if it even is as we do not have any useful information beyond the Lexus fleet)
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,897
13,918
Temecula, CA
None of these ‘losses' are key personnel. They are managers. Whether from Apple, IBM, Sony, Tesla, Microsoft, you name it. They spend 95% of their time in office meetings, reading emails and checking up on progress of their teams work.

There was a reason Ives said the team at Apple was the strongest when he left. They were doing all the design work, with him having final oversight only. These MVP talents aren't athletes in professional sports. Stop sensationalizing them. Every key person in Apple has a special project(s) focus with scores of the best where they are constantly focused on their idea eventually reaching to market.

Drive train engineers aren't key personnel. You can hire dozens working on cutting edge projects in universities around the globe to replace them. Stock options take years to vest and when you jump you leave all unvested at the door. This guy took a post with a SVP because he's been promised this company when it goes public he'll get his huge pay day. In a startup, everyone is an SVP early on. Then the hierarchies are formed and the grunts come in and do the bulk of the work. The man worked at Apple for under 3 years. His options weren't large or he'd have stayed. His special projects group focus must not have kept his interest. You don't go from autonomous vehicles to sky cab because you are the most insightful financially.
I am in agreement that these “losses” are over-reacted on, but you got some things wrong: stock options have long been replaced by RSUs, and the company this guy joined went public on NYSE in Dec 2020.
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
6,172
3,473
long island NY
This reminds me of the time Apple had the audacity to step up and compete against Motorola, Ericsson, and Nokia (at the time collectively referred to as MEN, all giants in the cellular telecom industry), creating iPhone.
Manufacturing an iPhone is pretty much the same as manufacturing an iPod, can’t say that about a car. A car holds literal lives in the balance, looking at the terrible state of Apple software lately, pushing for a fully autonomous car isn‘t going to succeed, no thanks to the added churn of this team
 

citysnaps

macrumors G3
Oct 10, 2011
8,541
15,759
San Francisco
And how many years did Apple spend on creating the iPhone?
I think the Apple car is in the makes for at least 7 or 8 years…

How many EV manufacturers are out there today, besides the established big ones who also make EVs today? A lot…
The EV and autonomous world is moving FAST, Apple car is moving SLOW (if it even is as we do not have any useful information beyond the Lexus fleet)

Got it. Apple must be doomed. Again.

You might not be aware of the vast differences in complexities involved in designing a cellular phone (with previous Motorola insight/knowledge via ROKR) and designing and manufacturing an automobile that's potentially self-driving.
 
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jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,897
13,918
Temecula, CA
Got it. Apple must be doomed. Again.

You might not be aware of the vast differences in complexities involved in designing a cellular phone (with previous Motorola insight/knowledge via ROKR) and designing and manufacturing an automobile that's potentially self-driving.
See my post #4

You were drawing similarities to iPhone, so not sure who is lacking understanding of iPhone to a car
 
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