The revolving door at Apple’s Project Titan keeps turning. In its latest loss, an ex-Tesla VP who started work on Apple’s autonomous car program in 2019 has moved on to another company. The former senior director of engineering has gone to an electric aviation startup.
Extensive Powertrain Development Experience
As VP of engineering at Tesla, Michael Schwekutsch oversaw powertrain development for the auto maker. He worked on Tesla’s Roadster, Semi, and the vehicle now known as Cybertruck.
Upon coming to Apple, Schwekutsch was helping move Project Titan, Apple’s electric vehicle endeavor, forward. Since Doug Field leftthree months ago, Kevin Lynch has taken over leadership of the Apple Car program. Reportedly, Lynch hopes to see the Apple Car debut in 2025.
From Apple Car to the Archer Aircraft
Schwekutsch is now the senior vice president of engineering for electric air taxi startup Archer. From the job description listed on his LinkedIn profile, Schwekutsch is working on propulsion, hover flight, and battery systems. Archer aims to deploy its electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft as airborne taxis, improving urban mobility.
The loss is one more obstacle in Apple’s debut of its own electric vehicle, Numerous setbacks, from losing talent to struggling to find partners in the automobile industry, seem to continue to stymie the project.
On the other hand, Apple did manage to lure Tesla’s autopilot director, Christopher Moore, over to its Project Titan team. Apple definitely needs to find a way to retain its top talent on the automobile project, though, if it’s going to debut in 3 years.