Apple appoints its watch software chief to oversee autonomous car project
Apple Inc. has appointed Kevin Lynch, a top software executive, who will be responsible for overlooking the company's autonomous car project. This move comes after the previous leader left for Ford Motor Co. Lynch joined Apple in 2013 and since, had taken care of the software used to run the company's smartwatch and health efforts.
The executive started working on the software that will be used in the self-driving car earlier this year. Now, Lynch will also look over the works of hardware engineering of the car, said a report by Bloomberg. This decision shows certain determination towards the finality of making the car since Apple first conceived the idea in 2014. The report also added that since 2014, the project has seen management turnover, layoffs of engineers and strategy shifts that have kept the project in the pipeline for some time now. However, the speculation remains if at all Apple will be able to launch the autonomous car as the report mentioned that the previous leader's departure is a sign that the tech giant is lagging behind its timeline.
The project was previously being managed by Doug Field who took over the Apple car project in 2018. He recently left the brand to join Ford as an executive in charge of advanced technology work. Apple has also got a few senior managers on the project who come from the automotive world. The team includes former Tesla executives leading car interiors and exteriors, drivetrains and self-driving software. Earlier this year, Apple also hired Ulrich Kranz, who helped lead work on electric cars at BMW and co-founded autonomous car startup Canoo.
The appointment of Lynch shows that the company is focused on getting the underlying software and self-driving technology of the car right rather than the car's physical mechanics, said the report. It also added that Lynch has been a software executive for decades and not someone who oversees hardware teams.
(Inputs from Bloomberg)