Apple adds one of Ford's best to its ambitious electric car team
In its latest move to manufacturing its electric car, Tech giant Apple has transferred Ford executive Desi Ujkashevic to bring a self-driving electric vehicle as soon as 2025, according to Bloomberg.
Apple has been working on developing a self-driving electric car since 2014. As the company has struggled to settle on a vision for its car over the years, it now aims for a fully autonomous vehicle with its both steering wheel and pedals removed with an operating system of its own. The company also wants to emphasize the safety of its vehicle; for that purpose, Apple is aiming to develop stronger safety measures than its competitors.
Apple representatives have met with officials of Toyota, South Korea's SK Group, LG Electronics, Nissan, Magna, Hyundai, and others to discuss a potential partnership but had no result.
While her role at Apple was not specified, Ujkashevic, who had worked at Ford since 1991, was Ford’s global director of automotive safety engineering. She was responsible for all current and future safety strategies, including autonomous vehicles. Before that, Ujkashevic was overseeing the engineering of interiors, exteriors, chassis, and electrical components for many Ford models, such as Escape, Explorer, Fiesta, and Focus, as well as the Lincoln’s MKC and Aviator models.
“Desi has a wealth of global automotive industry leadership experience,” Ford's website reads, on Ujkashevic’s biography. The company credits her with improving products, quality, and the customer experience at the 118-year-old automaker.
Ujkashevic has also helped Ford’s Michigan Dearborn manufacturing plant develop new electric vehicles.
Her expertise in engineering and safety protocols could also help Apple in its self-driving electric vehicle project, as she also specializes in addressing regulatory issues when testing self-driving prototypes on public roads.
While we keep hearing rumors about its design, technological specs, and possible production partners, the tech company has never confirmed the rumors itself about Apple’s electric vehicle.