The Apple car is one of the most mysterious projects of Manzana. The Cupertino firm has already spent almost seven years developing an autonomous driving car, but public news regarding the advancement of this initiative has been scarce. The last known was the recent departure of Doug Field, who headed what is internally known as Project Titan to join Ford, but it seems that the apple company has moved fast to choose a replacement.
A new report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman indicates that Apple would have chosen to entrust the leadership of the Apple Car project to one of its most renowned software executives. The responsability would have fallen on Kevin Lynch, who has been part of the Californian firm since 2013, and is currently the Vice President of Technology.
Lynch is none other than the creator of watchOS, the operating system that brings the Apple Watch to life. In addition, he has been in charge of the development of some of the main health tools included in Apple products. However, his vast experience within the company it would not be related in anything to what it would now be his turn to direct.
Still, Gurman notes that Kevin Lynch’s arrival at Apple Car development didn’t happen overnight. He even mentions that the manager began to participate in the project at the beginning of this year, after assuming the leadership of the teams in charge of creating the necessary software to have a functional autonomous driving vehicle.
Managerial changes increase uncertainty around Apple Car
The Apple Car is an ambitious idea and requires a lot of work in very diverse areas. If Kevin Lynch is indeed in charge of the direction of this project, he should not only focus on advances in software, his area of expertise. Autonomous driving also requires the development of sensors, among other efforts related to hardware engineering. And we haven’t even started talking about the car itself yet.
Logically, the manager is not alone in this endeavor. However, unlike what happened during the period with Doug Field at the helm of the Apple Car, Lynch would report directly to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer., and not John Giannandrea, the head of artificial intelligence.
According to Gurman, it is not yet clear whether Kevin Lynch’s journey at the helm of the Apple Car will be final or an interim. Field’s recent departure has been seen as an indication that Apple’s project is still a long way from seeing the light of day. And the company’s refusal to publicly detail its initiative to create an electric car adds to the uncertainty.
While the production of the Apple Car could only start in 2024In recent months, there have been some interesting moves. At the beginning of the year, Apple and Hyundai would have held negotiations for a joint work, but it came to nothing. Nissan would have another of the companies in the pipeline, although it did not prosper either.
Subsequently, Apple would have started negotiating with potential battery suppliers and other hypothetical partners; and even added Ulrich Kranz (ex BMW) to reinforce the project. However, the departure of Doug Field has been a major blow to the Apple Car. We will see if Kevin Lynch is, finally, right man to make this electric mobility initiative see the light.