Recent reports claim that the former Senior Vice President of Technologies at Apple, Bob Mansfield, has been appointed to lead and oversee the electric vehicle venture codenamed “Project Titan.”
The inside rumors follow other unofficial reports earlier this week, which suggested a delayed launching of the Apple Car estimated for a 2021 release instead of the initial goal in the year 2020.
Moreover, Project Titan had lost its leader back in January when Steve Zadesky, former Apple executive and head of the automobile project, stepped down from his position and left the company.
Zadesky, who had worked as a Ford engineer back in the day, cited personal reasons as the basis of its retirement after sixteen years of work at Apple. The tech giant has not shed any light neither on the leadership of the project nor on the project itself, although there have been plenty of rumors.
Comments in the past suggest that Project Titan has had some issues in its development process, defining objectives and working towards them. If this is not mere hearsay, it would explain Apple’s choice of bringing back a seasoned veteran to lead the ambitious enterprise.
A Man with a Plan
Bob Mansfield is a hardware engineer and executive with a long trajectory at the American tech company, joining the lines of the California-based organization back in the late nineties.
Before serving as Senior VP of Technologies, Mansfield supervised the teams and development process of Apple’s new generation of computers as Senior Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering. After developing iconic pieces of technology like the MacBook and the iMac for over ten years, Mansfield became the Senior VP of Devices Hardware Engineering in 2010.
At this new division responsible for the development of premium devices like the iPad and following Steve Jobs’ death, Mansfield would fulfill his duties until his apparent retirement in mid-2012.
However, the renowned executive came back a couple of months later to fill the role of Senior VP of Tech, in which he would retire definitely from Apple in July 2013.
But even from retirement, he did not stop, as Mansfield stepped down from his official position, but would reportedly continue to work on special assignments for the company.
Bob Mansfield’s track record shows a leadership capable of productive work and successful product delivery in almost every development area of the revolutionary company.
— HYPEBEAST (@HYPEBEAST) July 22, 2016
Apple: at the forefront of mobile devices
The origins of the Apple Car project reportedly date back to as early as 2008, at which time Steve Jobs unveiled to the world his latest creation: the iPhone.
Tony Fadell, who was substituted by Mansfield as Senior VP of Devices Software Engineering back in 2010, claimed in an interview earlier this year that Steve Jobs entertained the idea of developing a much bigger mobile device.
The idea of a car made by Apple was in the mind of the late CEO by the time electrical cars started to make the rounds slowly around the world. With the dawn of a new age in transportation technology, alternative energy pioneer Elon Musk, and his automotive company Tesla Motors introduced to the market their first electric vehicle around the same time in 2008.
The Tesla Roadster was not nearly as impactful as Apple’s flagship smartphone, but now almost ten years down the road the company looks at Tesla, Google, and other electric car manufacturers as significant competition.
Pressure rises even more for Apple as reports informed that the American tech company was looking into charging station technologies for electric cars earlier this year.
— Geeks Union (@geeksunion) July 26, 2016
Competitors like Tesla are way ahead of the mobile giant, as they have already a functioning network of charging stations across the United States and several other locations around the globe.
Moreover, Apple’s automobile project not only has competition on the alternative energy front but also in the latest developments in automotive technology: autonomous vehicles.
Despite safety concerns and regulation drawbacks, autonomous cars are already traveling on our roads, with Tesla once again being a prominent name in the race. It is unclear even whether Project Titan is only an electric car project since Apple has been anything but open about the ambitious initiative.
A statement given by Apple CEO Tim Cook in late 2015 pointed out the significant changes that the car industry would undergo in the upcoming years, fueling the wild speculations about the company’s car project.
Recent rumors claim that an official Apple event will take place on September, in which the latest generation of iPhones and other signature mobile devices are expected to be revealed.
Meanwhile, the product developed by the Project Titan team, now reportedly led by Bob Mansfield, is yet to be addressed by the tech mogul.
Source: The Wall Street Journal