Apple has hired 31 years old former Ford senior executive to accelerate the development and production of the Apple Car. According to a Bloomberg report on Tuesday, the Cupertino-based giant has hired Desi Ujkashevic.
This is not the first time Apple has hired an experienced figure in the automotive industry to work on the Apple Car. Last year, the company hired Christopher “CJ” Moore, a former Tesla engineer who will report to Stuart Bower.
“Apple Inc. has recruited a longtime Ford Motor Co. executive who helped lead safety efforts and vehicle engineering, a sign the iPhone maker is again ramping up development of an electric car.
The tech giant hired Desi Ujkashevic for the car project, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Ujkashevic had worked at Ford since 1991, most recently serving as its global director of automotive safety engineering. Before that, she helped oversee engineering of interiors, exteriors, chassis and electrical components for many Ford models.”
Ujkashevic has been working in Ford Motors Co. since 1991 and is currently serving as the global director of Ford’s global automotive safety engineering. She is responsible for all current and future program safety strategies, corporate rule-making, advanced strategy development, Field Service Actions, and Program Safety compliance. Ujkashevic is also a member of the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of America’s board of directors.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Ujkashevic worked on numerous prominent Ford vehicles such as the Fiesta, Focus, Escape, and Explorer, as well as Aviator and Lincoln MKC.
The Bloomberg report cites that Apple is searching for ways to produce stronger safeguards than the likes of Tesla and Waymo (a self-driving development company owned by Google). With Ujkashevic’s experience in regulatory and safety measurements, her entrance to Apple is a boost for the development of the Apple Car.
“To that end, the company is looking to develop stronger safeguards than what’s available from Tesla and Waymo. That includes building in plenty of redundancy — layers of backup systems that kick in to avoid safety and driving-system failures –.”
Last March, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the Apple Car team was dissolved and reorganization was needed to continue with the development of the electric vehicle.
Rumors, leaks, reports, and speculation regarding the upcoming Apple Car have been unusual. Sometimes Apple is closing a partnership with well-established car manufacturers while sometimes the company is yet to name the carmaker, or that it could independently produce the car.