Apple Inc AAPL has named Kevin Lynch as the new head of its self-driving car project, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
What Happened: Lynch’s appointment comes as a replacement for Doug Field who left the Cupertino, California-based company earlier this week to join Ford Motor Co F as its chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer.
Lynch joined Apple in 2013 to run the company’s smartwatch and health efforts. Prior to Apple, he was with software company Adobe Inc ADBE.
As per the report, Lynch started working on Apple's electric car project — known as Project Titan, the details of which have not been announced — earlier this year and is now overseeing the entire group. This includes hardware engineering and work on self-driving car sensors.
Why It Matters: Lynch has never worked at a car company before. He has been a software executive for decades and is not someone who is known for overseeing hardware teams, Bloomberg noted.
Apple's decision to name Lynch as the head of the car project indicates the tech giant is still focused on the underlying software and self-driving technology instead of the vehicle’s physical mechanics.
In contrast, the first manager on the project was Steve Zadesky who was an engineer at Ford earlier in his career. Field was a senior executive at Tesla Inc TSLA before taking over the Apple project.
Details on Apple’s car project, which is known to have started in 2014, are hush-hush and Apple has not made any official comment on it yet. Reuters reported last year that Apple aims to start making self-driving cars by 2024.
Price Action: Apple shares closed 0.67% lower at $154.07 on Thursday.
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