Apple Car Hardware Engineer Leaves for Air Taxi Startup
Apple's Car project recently lost one of its engineering directors, with Michael Schwekutsch departing the company to join air taxi startup Archer Aviation.
As discovered by CNBC, Schwekutsch updated his LinkedIn profile to note that he has taken on a role of senior vice president of engineering at Archer. Archer is an aerospace company that is developing an all-electric aircraft that supports vertical takeoff and landing for navigation within cities.
Schwekutsch first joined the Apple Car project in March of 2019, and he served as a senior director of engineering on the special project group, aka the Apple Car team. Prior to that, he was Tesla's vice president of engineering.
Apple's car development has seen continual management shifts over the course of the last few years. Back in September, special projects vice president Doug Field left Apple for Ford after a three-year stint heading up Apple Car development alongside Bob Mansfield and John Giannandrea.
AI chief John Giannandrea is still overseeing Apple Car development, but with Field's departure, Apple recently brought on Apple Watch chief Kevin Lynch to pitch in. Under Lynch's leadership, the Apple Car project is moving ahead, with Apple aiming to produce a fully autonomous electric vehicle. Apple wants to design a self-driving car that does not require human intervention, a goal that car manufacturers have yet to achieve.
Apple is planning to launch a self-driving car within four years with an aggressive launch timeline around 2025, but whether Apple can achieve that goal remains to be seen.
Top Rated Comments
Archer’s marketing really is quite something.
There was a reason Ives said the team at Apple was the strongest when he left. They were doing all the design work, with him having final oversight only. These MVP talents aren't athletes in professional sports. Stop sensationalizing them. Every key person in Apple has a special project(s) focus with scores of the best where they are constantly focused on their idea eventually reaching to market.
Drive train engineers aren't key personnel. You can hire dozens working on cutting edge projects in universities around the globe to replace them. Stock options take years to vest and when you jump you leave all unvested at the door. This guy took a post with a SVP because he's been promised this company when it goes public he'll get his huge pay day. In a startup, everyone is an SVP early on. Then the hierarchies are formed and the grunts come in and do the bulk of the work. The man worked at Apple for under 3 years. His options weren't large or he'd have stayed. His special projects group focus must not have kept his interest. You don't go from autonomous vehicles to sky cab because you are the most insightful financially.