Engineering executive Doug Field has returned to Ford after stints with Tesla and Apple, the Blue Oval confirmed Tuesday in a press release. Field will serve as Chief Advanced Technology and Embedded Systems Officer, reporting to Ford CEO Jim Farley.
Field returns to Ford from Apple, where he served as Vice President, Special Projects. That included overseeing the much-discussed "Apple Car" project, many media reports have noted, which means the move back to Ford could be a blow to Apple. Apple is thought to be planning its own self-driving electric car, though recent talks with automakers for contract manufacturing appear to have stalled.
Prior to working at Apple, Field served as Senior VP, Engineering at Tesla. He left the automaker in 2018, shortly after Model 3 production began.
Tesla had hired Field away from Apple, where he worked on Mac hardware, and his resume also includes a stint at Segway. He began his career at Ford, though, serving as a development engineer from 1987 to 1993, the automaker noted.
In his new role, Field will oversee tech features such as infotainment, navigation, driver-assist technology, connected services, and cybersecurity. He'll also be in charge of over-the-air software updates, which Ford plans to begin using to add features to vehicles after they're driven off the dealership lot.
One update due later this year will activate the Blue Cruise driver-assist system in certain 2021 Ford F-150 and 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E vehicles. Blue Cruise can control steering, acceleration, and braking and certain stretches of highway, but still requires an attentive driver, meaning it ranks as Level 2 on the SAE autonomy scale.