Former Tesla Lead Engineer Doug Field Returns to Apple to Work on Project Titan

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's former VP of Mac hardware engineering Doug Field has returned to the tech giant's ranks after five years working at Tesla, where he oversaw production of the Model 3.

    Daring Fireball writer John Gruber broke the news on Thursday after speaking to an Apple spokesperson who confirmed only that Field had returned to the company that he left in 2013.


    However Gruber's contacts within Apple informed him that Field will link up with former colleague Bob Mansfield to work on Apple's self-driving car program, Project Titan.

    Field began his career at Ford as a development engineer, before moving on to Segway and then to Apple, and his return is already fueling speculation that Apple's self-driving ambitions have been rejuvenated under the leadership of Mansfield.

    Rather than solely developing autonomous systems for existing car manufacturers, Apple's rehiring of Field could indicate that the company still retains an interest in building its own vehicles.

    When Apple began working on Project Titan in 2014, upwards of 1,000 employees were said to have been working on developing an electric vehicle at a secret location near its Cupertino headquarters.

    However, internal strife and leadership issues reportedly caused Apple to transition its focus to an autonomous driving system and pursue partnerships with existing carmakers instead of building a full car. Hundreds of employees were said to have been laid off as a result.

    Little is known about the inner workings of Apple's Project Titan group, but court documents filed in July indicate that as many as 5,000 people are authorized at Apple to access information about the project.

    Apple has also been significantly ramping up its fleet of vehicles running self-driving sensor equipment. As of May 2018, the company has 62 vehicles out on the road using its autonomous driving software.

    Apple is also working on a self-driving shuttle service called "PAIL" (an acronym for "Palo Alto to Infinite Loop"). The shuttle program will transport employees between Apple's office in Silicon Valley.

    Article Link: Former Tesla Lead Engineer Doug Field Returns to Apple to Work on Project Titan
  2. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
    pretty much means we won't see a single thing about the apple car for at least 3-5 years.
  3. CarlJ macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Oh, we'll see 3-5 years worth of rumors and analyst opinions (who's the one who kept insisting that Apple TV would have an actual screen?), we just won't see any official comment for 3-5 years.
  4. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    Is overseeing production of the Tesla Model 3 supposed to be a recommendation?
  5. TimmeyCook Suspended


    Jun 20, 2018
    Serious problem, people won't be buying cars in 3-5 years.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 10, 2018 ---
    Talking heads on CNBC and the stuff actually defend that Apple is not going to make a car but it's going to be software you can install in your car.

    Imagine that...
  6. tardegrade macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2009
    Devon, UK.

    Tim: Hey Doug, why don't you go work for Tesla for a few years. Find out everything that they know, then come back to us?
    Doug: Alrighty then.
  7. TheShadowKnows!, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

    TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    No clue on what they are doing, but in Bob Mansfield, I trust.
    (And, to keep Ive's skinny mantra away.)

    The lone star in Apple's executive bin.
  8. asdavis10 macrumors 6502


    Feb 3, 2008
    At least now he's back at a car company where the CEO doesn't overpromise and underdeliver.
  9. Morgenland, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

    Morgenland macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2009
    This information content is almost enough for a boring canteen conversation...
    --- Post Merged, Aug 10, 2018 ---
    ...well, maybe Apple will fix the keyboard steering-wheels too...
    Screenshot - 10.jpg
  10. Relentless Power macrumors Core

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Nothing at all suggested we would have seen the ‘Apple car’ any earlier anyways. We don’t even know what Apple is officially doing/experimenting under Project Titan completely.
  11. TheFluffyDuck macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2012
    Well, they will probably cover it in a touchpad with no tactile response, but hey it will look good.
  12. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    If it’s anything like the Tesla cars it won’t be very good! I sat in one for the first time and I just thought cheap plastic everywhere, not very well made, and a ridiculous giant screen that’s not easy to use at all, not a patch on a phone, and it’s just a distraction as you have to use it for everything taking your eyes off the road. Overpriced dangerous rubbish I thought. It needs to drive itself just to you can adjust the aircon!

    I hope he doesn’t do the same to this Apple project..
  13. Blackstick macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
    We have two cars now. I fully expect to be a single car family by 2022 and have a Lyft or Uber all-you-can-summon pass with a set amount of included miles monthly. It’s going to happen sooner than we think. One permanent SUV is all we’d need as a family, the summoned car would basically just take me the 10 minute ride to and from work.
  14. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Over 15K of the car (which currently starts at over $40K, after incentives) were sold in the US in July. That puts it well ahead of any sedan of comparable price, and in the same ballpark as the Civic, the top selling sedan in the US, despite that being available for half the price.

    So whoever is responsible for that certainly would be a good person to put in charge of putting a new vehicle into production.

    The only question is whether that person is Doug Field, Elon Musk, or someone else. It should be noted that production was only at 2K per month when Doug left but 3 months later it was at 15K - was it just that Doug had everything lined up for when Elon took over, or was it that Elon worked a miracle in the 3 months?

    We’ll probably find out in a few years when someone is doing research for a book or something.
  15. larryj macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    You got all that from sitting in it, huh?
  16. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Yeap, at GoodWood FOS, where you can compare it to its direct competitors plus I had someone from Tesla show me round it and it’s systems.
    Very poor plastic build quality. And a ridiculous interface and giant screen.
  17. tito2020 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2011
    10 yrs
  18. Mac Fly (film), Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

    Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    He felt the interior looked like a load of cheap plastic and feels it’s dangerous to use the screen for every single function within the car. Well, the latter was mentioned in reviews of the Model III. And yes, you can tell what a vehicle interior is like by sitting in it.
    You think an Apple car would be 2028? Interesting.
  19. TimmeyCook Suspended


    Jun 20, 2018
    It's very easy to outsell sedans when "everyone" is buying those SUV's.
  20. Bacillus Suspended


    Jun 25, 2009
    Bob can build all the (un)imaginable software (plus a TouchBar in the middle console) but if no company wants to partner with Apple, it won’t work.
  21. B4U macrumors 68000


    Oct 11, 2012
    That's a BMW steering wheel though...
  22. mgauss7 macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2009
    Apple will be sued for a trillion dollars when a stupid car like the Uber one that mowed over the woman walking her bike on an intersection hits a group of people. Stupid stupid project. Billions in liability to sell a low margin car. $ 10,000 corollas are the competition. No margin, high exposure. Not worth it. Let the pioneers make the mistakes over a few years.
  23. B4U macrumors 68000


    Oct 11, 2012
    Some of us are expert in our respective fields and can tell a lot by simply looking at certain things.
    Is there something that surprised you?
    --- Post Merged, Aug 10, 2018 ---
    The Mac Pro, cough cough...
    --- Post Merged, Aug 10, 2018 ---
    They built some of those in a tent with defective/second rated tools/equipment. sigh...
  24. WBRacing macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2012
    A guy I know took me out for a spin in his and yes, I can confirm that some drivers allow this to be a huge distraction. He spent less time looking at the road than he did at the screen, playing with it. Terrifying, even with all the driver aids.
  25. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Yeap, I believe the model I was in, the sedan, starts from around 55k in the UK, that’s serious German make or Jaguar money. And when the build quality is poor at that price... not very impressive.

    And another thing the Tesla employee told me was that the advertised range was not actually true! It’s a lot lower but he blamed some advertising regulations for it...

    As for the stupid interface, even Ford has usually done well with voice control, Mercedes uses it, BMW have inroduced hand features which work well.
    You look at the Range Rover with its dual screens, same issue as the Tesla. The same with Audi’s, the reviewers all say you have to take your eyes off the road! All though at least with Audi it’s Virtual Cockpit dash works very well and can display a lot of info, but that’s not controlling the cars features.

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