Doug Field, who had joined Tesla in 2013, returned to his previous employer Apple. He was head of development and production, among other roles, before he began phasing out in May, leaving the company for good in July.
In May, Tesla announced that Field were taking a break and would not be leaving the company. In early April, Elon Musk took over the role of head of production, while Field was to be focusing on vehicle development. He had taken both roles for the previous year. Musk said at the time that it made sense at the time to combine development and production, but that circumstances had changed.
At Apple Field previously worked in hardware development for the Mac, but will now be joining the electric vehicle plans by the company. He will likely be joining the team of his former boss Bob Mansfield, who will be heading the initiative.
Apple has been testing autonomous vehicles on public streets in California since 2017, but the “Titan” initiative has been somewhat quiet for some time. After a few months of silence, the team announced having found a vehicle partner in Volkswagen. BMW, Daimler and other manufacturers had been in the discussion as well. The contract was set to initially turn several T6 transporters into electric shuttles for Apple employees.
The report also stated that the program was behind on schedule, and had initially been scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The project had exceeded workload expectations and taken full capacity from the team. It is still unclear whether the cooperation with VW will extend beyond the transporters.