Cupertino tech giant has promoted its Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch to head its Apple Car division. In July it was reported that Lynch had joined Project Titan to work on the company’s autonomous electric vehicle. At the time it was claimed that Lynch would continue work on Apple Watch and serve as Apple’s Vice President of technology.
The news of reshuffling comes a few days after former Apple Car chief Doug Field left the company to join Ford Motors. Field, who oversaw the development and launch of the Tesla Model 3, was considered a significant part of Project Titan’s development, and departure was taken as a huge setback.
With no experience of hardware, Apple puts software executive Kevin Lynch in charge of Apple Car, Project Titan
Bloomberg reports that Lynch has vast software experience. Before joining Apple, he worked at Adobe Inc. and since 2013 has headed Apple Health and Apple Watch software group. According to people familiar with the matter, Lynch is now head of the entire project, hardware, and software.
The executive first started working on the project earlier this year when he took over teams handling the underlying software. Now he is overseeing the whole group, which also includes hardware engineering and work on self-driving car sensors.
Furthermore, his appointment indicates that the company might be focusing on software for autonomous EVs rather than the details of the physical car.
The choice of Lynch to head the car project indicates much of the company’s focus still remains on underlying software and self-driving technology — rather than the vehicle’s physical mechanics. Lynch has been a software executive for decades, not someone who oversees hardware teams. He’s also never worked at a car company.
That contrasts with previous executives. The Apple car project’s first manager, Steve Zadesky, was an engineer at Ford earlier in his career. Field, meanwhile, was a senior executive at Tesla before taking over the Apple project.
Recently, Apple hired two former engineers at Mercedes to work on its Special Projects group. Based on their experience and expertise, it can be assumed the new hires will work on the development of Apple Car. Prior to that, Ulrich Kranz, a former BMW executive and CEO of Canoo Inc. had joined the Apple Car division.