Reported hiring of Ford veteran suggests that “Apple Car” project is still alive

Desi Ujkashevic

At this point, it may seem as if the “Apple Car” has been talked about much more than it will ever be driven. However, a massive sign has emerged of Apple ramping up its development of an autonomous electric vehicle (AEV), in the form of the recruitment of a vehicle and safety engineering expert who has spent more than three decades at Ford.

That expert is no less than Desi Ujkashevic, who was one of Ford’s highest-profile managers, having worked for the Blue Oval since 1991. It was Bloomberg that broke the news of her apparent switch to Apple, citing “people with knowledge of the matter”.

Bloomberg said that according to Ford, Ujkashevic has retired. Sure enough, at the time of writing, her LinkedIn profile indicates that her time at Ford has come to an end after 30 years and three months, with no acknowledgement of any subsequent company.

Still, Bloomberg appears to be confident that she has indeed headed to Apple. The addition of Ujkashevic to the “Apple Car” team would seem an astute move for the Cupertino firm, particularly given that her experience includes dealing with regulatory issues, which have been a barrier to the project’s development so far. Her expertise in engineering and safety protocol would also be invaluable to the software giant.

With most of the news about the Apple Car project in recent years having centered on new hires or prominent departures, we can only hope that Ujkashevic’s apparent arrival will finally give serious momentum to the company’s efforts in the AEV space.

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