Longtime Ford Engineer Joins Apple Car Team

Longtime Ford engineer Desi Ujkashevic has left the company and opted to join Apple to work on the Apple car project, reports Bloomberg. Ujkashevic has been with Ford for over 30 years, and she has expertise in safety systems, engineering design deliverables, body interior engineering, and more.

Apple car wheel icon feature triad
Before to departing Ford for Apple, Ujkashevic served as the Global Director of Ford's Automotive Safety Engineering Office, but prior to that, she was an Engineering Director. From Ford's website:

In her previous role, she was the Engineering Director for North American Vehicle Programs where she was responsible for Engineering for Car and Utility Programs managing engineering design deliverables including achievement of cost, profit, quality, and timing objectives. Prior to this, Desi was the Global Director, Interiors Engineering where she led the Strategy, Program execution, Quality and launch for Interiors on all Global Programs. Previous to this, Desi completed a 3-year international assignment in Germany, serving as Ford's Director of Engineering for Body Systems and Design Operations.

Ujkashevic first joined Ford in 1991, and worked her way up the ranks over the years. She had a hand in the development of the Ford Escape, Explorer, Fiesta and Focus, plus she worked on electric vehicles. Ujkashevic has a wealth of expertise that will benefit the Apple Car project, and she could be involved in helping Apple develop safeguards for its electric vehicle.

Bloomberg has previously said that Apple wants the Apple Car to be safer than cars from Tesla and Waymo, with backup systems to avoid driving system failures.

Apple has been regularly hiring from Ford and other automotive companies for the past several years as it works to develop a fully autonomous vehicle. The Apple Car project has faced ongoing leadership issues and Apple's goals have shifted several times, but the latest rumors suggest that Apple is on track to deliver a car sometime in the next decade.

Apple is said to be aiming for a 2025 launch, but issues with the car development could push the project back to as late as 2028.

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Top Rated Comments

filmantopia Avatar
29 months ago
My next car will be an Apple Car.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
29 months ago
Wow! She gave up 30 years of a career at Ford to work for something that doesn't even exist. I think Apple should focus more on expanding the leadership team to work at Apple Car. It seems like it keeps on getting delayed.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rpmurray Avatar
29 months ago
I hope she didn't fill up a USB drive with classified documents before she left Ford.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mikethemartian Avatar
29 months ago

My next car will be an Apple Car.
My next car will be a Ferrari.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Octavius8 Avatar
29 months ago

My next car will be an Apple Car.
OK, just keep in mind the "next decade" part of the article ;)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lazyrighteye Avatar
29 months ago
Way back when, my first car was a 1980-something Ford Escort. Perfect first car. But nothing to write home about. The only other Ford I ever owned was a 2018 Ford [S]Exploder[/S] Explorer - which offered little in the way of redeeming qualities. OK, I take that back. The exterior design, in 2018, was pretty refreshing - picking up cues from their Rang Rover sister. But the interior design was cramped, the infotainment system a total nightmare (not that I expected anything different from a Microsoft-powered system), the EcoBoost™ was laughable (would take the car almost a full 2 seconds - no hyperbole - to respond to stomping on the accelerator), etc. Maybe I had a lemon, but literally the month it was pid off, began one mechanic visit after another, each to the tune fo ~$2k. At one point, bleeding out and exasperated, the shop owner was like "I'd get as far away form this thing as possible." So I was fortunate to get our of it and into a VW Atlas - man, what a refreshing difference in vehicle. Seriously one of my favs I have owned.

ANYWAY... I know Desi is just one person and not representative of my lone Explorer experience. While I know next to nothing about her, I am glad to see any traction on an Apple-branded Car. I know many here think it vapor and/or struggle to understand why a computer company would be considering the EV segment... But it is 100% coming. Remember: Apple is not just a computer company. if anything, they are an OS company that also builds hardware to support their expanding ecosystem. Thus, if there is a segment out there that depends on an OS, I can guarantee Apple has at the very least, noted that segment. That's why I think an Apple EV is a no-brainer. The OS is what sits at the center of the EV, as anyone who has driven, or ridden in, a Tesla knows. I just wish Apple would hurry - I'm in the market. But it appears my timing may be off.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)