Apple Veteran Allegedly In Charge Of Car Project Is Leaving The Company

January 25, 2016 0 Comments

apple-car-leader-650w

The Apple veteran who is said to be heading up its efforts to develop a car is leaving the company, according to the Wall Street Journal. Citing unnamed sources, the report indicates that Steve Zadesky is departing for personal reasons, although the details and the exact timeframe are still unknown.

Apple has never confirmed the fact it is working on developing a car, but the company has hired many auto industry veterans and experts in battery technology and autonomous driving to work on what is known as Project Titan. Zadesky’s departure appears to mark a setback for one of the most talked about projects in the technology field, which allegedly got the green light last year and has been assigned a ship date of 2019. It’s important to note that a ship date may not mean that the car will be available at that time, but could instead refer to the date Apple engineers will complete the main features of the vehicle. According to the Wall Street Journal report, people familiar with the matter indicated that some team members expect it might take several additional years for the company to get its car to market.

Zadesky was an engineer at Ford before he joined Apple in 1999 to work on high-profile projects like the first iPod and iPhone. The report indicates that he was tapped to work on the company’s rumored electric car project in 2014, when he was put in charge of tripling the size of the automotive team at Apple, while coming up with a vision for the product. According to people familiar with the matter, the team has encountered some problems in laying out clear goals for the project, while Apple has urged them to push ahead with ambitious deadlines even though some team members feel that those targets aren’t attainable.

Even though Apple has never acknowledged it is developing a car, its Project Titan is often talked about throughout the auto industry. For example, Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently described Apple’s plans for an electric car as an “open secret” in the industry, explaining that it has hired ex-Tesla engineers and other experts to further its automotive ambitions.

The effect of Zadesky’s departure remains unclear, although some analysts believe that it won’t necessarily slow down Apple’s automotive plans.

“While the departure of Apple’s head of automobile efforts may seem like a blow, the reality is Apple has enough money and potential to bring in almost anyone they desire,” said Akshay Anand, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “This shouldn’t railroad Apple’s efforts and the rumors that they are indeed focused on becoming a player in the automotive space.”

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.