Apple car: iPhone company could be working on new electric vehicle after all, new hire suggests

Andrew Griffin

Apple's much-rumoured, oft-revived car project might be back on the road.

The company has re-hired a former employee who left to go and work at Tesla. And though Apple is not saying anything about its plans, he may have joined to help restart the electric vehicle project.

Apple's car – said to be named Project Titan within the company – has been rumoured for years and appears to have changed status within the company. At various times, it has been rumoured to have been working on an entire car, shelving that plan, or simply creating a computer that other car manufacturers could include in their vehicles.

Now the iPhone maker's plan appears to be back in action after it hired Doug Field, who worked as Apple's vice president of Mac engineering before he left to join Tesla and oversee production of its Model 3 car.

Mr Field is reported to be working alongside Bob Mansfield, the Apple veteran who is rumoured to have taken charge of the car project.

The news was first reported by John Gruber, the Apple commentator. He wrote that Mr Field appeared to be a perfect fit for the secret Project Titan and the production of a vehicle.

"I think it’s an interesting hire, primarily because it suggests to me that Apple still has an interest in making actual vehicles, despite reports that the company has scaled back the project to merely make autonomous systems for inclusion in vehicles made by other companies," Mr Gruber wrote. "That rumour never really made sense to me anyway — Apple’s modus operandi has always been to make the whole widget. Apple makes products, not components."