Apple has reportedly hired a former Ford Motor vehicle safety manager to work on its self-driving vehicle project, according to sources cited by Bloomberg on Tuesday. Desi Ujkashevic, a longtime engineer at America's second-largest automaker, left Ford in March 2022 after more than 30 years with the company, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Just before leaving Ford, Ms. Ujkashevic held the position of global director of the group's automotive safety engineering office, and before that she was notably in charge of the engineering directorate. The experience of a veteran of the profession like Desi Ujkashevic should bring Apple the dose of security sought by the group for its Apple Car, according to Bloomberg.
On Wall Street, Apple shares rose 0.96% on Tuesday to $159.48 after this information. The title has lost 10% since the start of the year but has still gained nearly 25% for a year, considered one of the most defensive technology stocks on the market in the current difficult stock market environment.
The first Apple Cars planned for 2025
Apple has been working for years (at least since 2014) on a self-driving car project, which regularly fuels rumors and speculation. The Apple firm has modified the team in charge of the project several times, in particular calling on officials from Tesla or Ford.
According to the latest information, the plan has taken the name of "Project Titan" and the goal is to launch 'Apple Car in 2025. According to current plans, the vehicle would not be equipped with a regular steering wheel, nor pedals, and its number one goal would be security, according to Bloomberg.
Financial analysts believe that the Apple Car, when it is developed, could bring enormous value to the group so far focused on smartphones, computers, and other connected objects. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty estimated at the end of 2021 that if successful, the Apple Car could double Apple's market capitalization. Citi analysts for their part saw the capitalization climb to more than 3,000 billion dollars, against 2,580 billion $ currently (and 2,000 billion $ at the time of the publication of the note of the bank in March 2021).