The ‘Apple Car’ has a new boss, John Giannandrea takes over the project

Apple’s “Project Titan” has a new leader. After years of ups and downs, this week Apple’s leadership has reiterated confidence in its self-driving vehicle, with the appointment of John giannandrea to assume the direction of this development.

John giannandrea
John giannandrea

According to information shared from imore, John Giannandrea, Apple’s director of artificial intelligence and machine learning, has been appointed as director of the autonomous driving project, in replacement for Bob Mansfield, who recently announced his permanent retirement from Apple.

The «Titan Project» has a new leader

Despite Giannandrea’s appointment, other big names on the team will remain the same. So, Doug field, who has directed the day-to-day life of Project Titan, will continue in this position. His team of hundreds of engineers has moved to Giannandrea’s AI and machine learning group, according to people familiar with the change.

In 2014, Apple set out to build an autonomous electric car to take on Tesla and other manufacturers, only to lower its ambitions around 2016. The project was struggling with direction, leadership, and technical challenges. That’s when Apple brought in Mansfield to lead the effort. Mansfield oversaw a change from car development to the underlying autonomous system.

Apple has been testing its autonomous driving technology since 2017, reaching 118 miles before requiring a human to take over the controls in its most recent public tests. But despite the inconsistent results, Tim Cook has called it a “A core technology that we consider very important”, dispelling rumors that Apple could abandon the project entirely.

With the change of directive it is confirmed that the investigations will continue, but it’s unclear if Project Titan will take the form of an autonomous car or whether Apple will develop the underlying technology and make it available to companies in another way.

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