Apple has hired a longtime Ford engineer and executive to work on its long-gestating car project, according to Bloomberg. Desi Ujkashevic had been with the automaker since 1991. Before leaving the company in March, Ujkashevic was Ford’s global director of automotive safety engineering.
She previously oversaw the global body engineering team, safety engineering for Ford of Europe and the global design technical operations division. In her early years at Ford, according to her LinkedIn profile, Ujkashevic held roles in vehicle engineering, testing and durability. She has also worked on Ford’s electric vehicle efforts and regulatory issues. In other words, she seems like exactly the kind of person you’d want to hire for an EV project.
Apple is said to have started work on an autonomous vehicle in 2015. However, those efforts have suffered several setbacks over the years, partly as a result of strategy and staffing changes. Doug Field, who was said to have led Project Titan, left Apple to rejoin Ford last September. However, the reported hire of Ujkashevic is another indication that Apple is still trying to build its own EV.
For what it’s worth, in a recent LinkedIn post, Ujkashevic said she was “excited to start my next adventure and I hope to continue to contribute to society and advancing technology with a purpose […] ultimately making a better world!”