Apple sparked speculation it is preparing a major push around connected vehicles after re-hiring a former hardware VP who quit the company for a role with electric car maker Tesla.
A company representative confirmed Doug Field had been recruited by the iPhone maker a month after he left Tesla, Financial Times (FT) reported. Field most recently oversaw production of Tesla’s Model 3 and joins Apple’s Project Titan autonomous car division, the newspaper added.
While Apple did not specifically state Field was joining Project Titan, several media outlets noted such a move would reunite the executive with Bob Mansfield, who oversees the division. Blog Daring Fireball said the pair had previously collaborated on Mac and iPhone products.
In addition to bringing the executives back together, Field’s appointment to Project Titan suggests Apple remains committed to the autonomous vehicle sector, rebutting recent speculation the company had reduced its work on the project, 9to5Mac noted.
FT stated Apple and Tesla have traded talent for a number of years as they seek to gain an advantage in the increasingly lucrative connected vehicle sector.
Chris Penrose, president of AT&T’s IoT division, recently told Mobile World Live vehicle telematics is at the forefront of the operator’s IoT business, with 1.5 million vehicles being connected to its network each quarter.
Earlier this year, analyst company Research and Markets forecast the value of the connected car market would hit $219.2 billion in 2025, compared with $72.9 billion in 2017.