APPLE'S former vice president of Mac hardware, Doug Field - who left the firm to become Tesla's chief vehicle engineer in 2013 - has returned to the Cupertino giant.
An Apple spokesman confirmed the news to Daring Fireball's John Gruber, who also reports that the ex-Tesla chief is now working on the company's secretive 'Project Titan' self-driving car program.
Field worked on Apple's Mac hardware department before leaving for Tesla in 2013. Before that time, he led the development of a host of new products at Apple including the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac. He was also an engineer at Ford Motor Company, where he began his career.
So, along with his last few years at the world's biggest electric carmaker running its vehicle production and engineering, this makes him a seemingly ideal fit for Apple's self-driving 'Titan' project.
Field took a leave of absence in May, and subsequently left Tesla in June after CEO Elon Musk took over responsibility for production when the firm failed to meet its initial first-quarter goal for the Model 3 electric vehicle.
According to numerous reports online, Apple's Titan project is going swimmingly, and is currently running more than 50 autonomous cars around California.
The state's Department of Motor Vehicles told Mac Reports that the company's fleet is growing faster than a hipster's beard; from three in April 2017 to 45 in March this year, and now 55. That gives it the second-largest fleet in the USA, ahead of Waymo's 51 cars, but still well behind GM Cruise, which boasts an impressive 104 vehicles.
Alongside the new cars, Apple has 83 drivers who need to sit inside every time they move. The company hasn't yet applied for a driverless testing permit, so all of the cars need to be accompanied by a human. µ
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