Apple snags top Ford engineer Desi Ujkashevic for EV work

Apple Inc. has recruited a longtime Ford Motor Co. govt who helped direct protection efforts and auto engineering, a signal the Apple iphone maker is once again ramping up advancement of an electric powered car.

The tech giant employed Desi Ujkashevic for the vehicle challenge, in accordance to individuals with understanding of the matter. Ujkashevic experienced labored at Ford due to the fact 1991, most recently serving as its international director of automotive basic safety engineering. Ahead of that, she served oversee engineering of interiors, exteriors, chassis and electrical parts for lots of Ford styles.

She has labored on Ford’s Escape, Explorer, Fiesta and Focus models, as effectively as the Lincoln MKC and Aviator, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also aided establish new EVs for Ford. She also has knowledge in regulatory troubles important to Apple finding a car or truck on the road.

Ujkashevic was named to the Automotive Information 100 Leading Ladies in the North American Vehicle Business in 2010 and 2015.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based mostly organization declined to remark on the seek the services of. Ford, in the meantime, said that Ujkashevic has retired from the automaker.

Enlisting Ujkashevic indicates Apple is continuing to press towards a self-driving motor vehicle in spite of numerous superior-profile departures around the previous calendar year. The project’s administration workforce has been practically entirely replaced due to the fact it was run by Doug Discipline, an government who remaining for Ford last yr.

Creating an electrical, self-driving motor vehicle is viewed as a “up coming significant factor” for Apple — a new solution class that can keep its profits advancement from stalling. But the job has experienced various technique shifts and staff improvements given that it kicked off around 7 several years back.

Turnover has been particularly significant over the earlier year. Aside from the departure of Field, Apple lost vital professionals in cost of hardware engineering, robotics and sensors. In some cases, significant-position engineers remaining to sign up for traveling taxi startups.

Following Subject give up, the business appointed Apple Enjoy and overall health software program head Kevin Lynch to oversee the challenge. Lynch is a properly-regarded program engineering supervisor but has not earlier led the improvement of a automobile. Nonetheless, the organization has sought to speed up the challenge under Lynch — with the objective of announcing a solution by 2025.

An Apple motor vehicle would place the enterprise in competition with the likes of Tesla and Lucid, as well as common automakers racing to introduce electric powered automobiles. Apple also is striving to master autonomous motor vehicles as element of the project — an auto-marketplace holy grail that tech corporations this kind of as Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo also have been grappling with.

The Apple car has been in development because 2015 but Apple has struggled to settle on a vision for it. The hope is to make something fully autonomous and take out the two the common steering wheel and pedals. The firm also has sought to emphasize protection with its auto.

To that conclusion, Apple is hunting to produce more robust safeguards than what is accessible from Tesla and Waymo. That incorporates creating in lots of redundancy — levels of backup programs that kick in to stay away from basic safety and driving-program failures — Bloomberg described very last calendar year. Ujkashevic could be associated with that element. Apple had hired Jaime Waydo to provide as automobile safety chief in 2018, but the Waymo veteran departed previous calendar year.

Ujkashevic is now one particular of the number of senior supervisors on Apple’s car or truck staff to appear from the automobile field, but there are some some others.

Final yr, Apple employed Ulrich Kranz, a former BMW govt and onetime head of self-driving startup Canoo. Stuart Bowers, a previous Tesla government who labored on self-driving software, and Jonathan Sive, an ex-manager at Tesla, Waymo and BMW, also are associated.

At Ford, Ujkashevic was just one of the firm’s greatest-profile professionals, serving as a named executive on its site.

“Desi has a prosperity of worldwide automotive sector management experience,” her biography reads on the Ford web page. The enterprise credited her with improving merchandise, top quality and the buyer encounter at the 118-year-old enterprise.

Automotive Information staff contributed to this report.

Eleanore Beatty

Next Post

Yankees on top of AL East with winning streak

Tue May 3 , 2022
The New York Yankees reeled off nine wins in a row to take the lead in American League East and move ahead of their crosstown rivals to take the No. 2 spot in USA TODAY Sports’ MLB power rankings this week. Anthony Rizzo (nine) and Aaron Judge (eight) were baseball’s home run […]
Yankees on top of AL East with winning streak

You May Like