Former Tesla Chief Engineer Returns to Apple

August 10, 2018 at 2:12 AM

Doug Field, who left Apple Inc. in 2013 to become Tesla Inc.’s chief engineer, has returned to Apple to join the company’s secretive Titan autonomous vehicle project, according to the blog Daring Fireball.

At Tesla, Field oversaw the production launch of the Model 3 electric sedan, before leaving the company in May. His return to Apple is sparking speculation that the company plans to develop its own self-driving car after all.

When Apple launched Titan in 2014, it reportedly planned to develop a vehicle and the software to let it operate autonomously. Later reports suggested that Apple had abandoned the hardware end of the project to develop a software operating platform for self-driving vehicles built by others.

Last year Apple signed a deal with Volkswagen AG to fit six VW T6 vans to operate as self-driving shuttles between two of Apple's campuses in Cupertino, Calif.