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Former Tesla engineering head rejoins Apple for Project Titan

by Justin King

After spending a year leading both engineering and production at Tesla, Doug Field resigned amid Model 3 production woes.

Tesla's former head of engineering and production, Doug Field, has reportedly returned to Apple to work on Project Titan.

Field started his career as an engineer at Ford before moving to the 'fast-paced' challenges at Apple, where he eventually led Mac hardware engineering. He left The Cupertino-based company in 2013 to join Tesla as VP of vehicle programs, guiding development of the Model 3.

Tesla chief Elon Musk in 2017 asked Field to lead both engineering and production, creating a dual role that aimed to avoid designing cars that are "crazy hard to build." Field took a leave of absence earlier this year amid trouble ramping up Model 3 output, then resigned after Musk took personal control over production.

Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber now suggests Field is returning to Apple to work alongside Bob Mansfield in the Project Titan group. The team is rumored to be focused on building autonomous technology that can be used by automakers or other partners.

Gruber speculates Field's arrival back at Apple is evidence that Project Titan's scope may actually be wider than just software that runs an autonomous drive system, reviving early rumors that the company may be working on an actual vehicle.