Apple Taps Watch Head for Self-Driving Car Project


Apple has asked the head of its smartwatch efforts to lead its fledgling self-driving car program. According to Bloomberg News, Kevin Lynch will take over the project following the departure of Doug Field, who left Apple for a position with Ford.

Sources told Bloomberg that Lynch began working on the project earlier this year when he began managing software teams, but will now oversee the entire effort, including hardware engineering and sensors for the car.

The car initiative, dubbed Project Titan, has seen a number of upheavals already, the Bloomberg report noted — from turnover in management, shifts in strategy and layoffs of engineers, all while kept under wraps.

In addition to his work developing the watchOS software, Lynch also oversees Apple’s health-related software, such as the Health app on the iPhone. According to Bloomberg, Field’s departure was considered an indication that the Apple car won’t be rolling out anytime soon, possibly not for several years.

The report also notes that Lynch’s appointment shows Apple is focused mainly on software and self-driving technology rather than the physical vehicle, as he has primarily worked in software and never for a car company.

Apple does have some automotive veterans on the project, including executives from Tesla as well as Ulrich Kranz, who helped lead BMW’s electric car efforts and co-founded the autonomous car startup Canoo.

Read more: Could Apple Stock Hit the $3T Mark?

Analysts have pointed to the production of the Apple car as one of the factors that push the company’s stock — which already has a market cap of roughly $2 trillion, a milestone it hit last year — to reach the $3 trillion mark.

As PYMNTS reported in March, Citigroup Analyst Jim Sawa said the company could see its sales increase by 10-15% in the next few years. He also anticipates the global market for electric vehicles to outpace the combined market for smartphones, PCs and wearables by the year 2025.