Apple's highly-anticipated electric car project has hit a roadblock as its vice president of product design, Steve Zadesky, will be quitting the company for personal reasons. Zadesky's long-standing association with Apple spans over 16 years, which includes his invaluable contributions to the development of iPhone and iPad, besides leading the ambitious electric car project.
There is no word on the timing of Zadesky's departure or any specific reasons for his decision to quit Apple. Back in September 2015, Apple had asked Zadesky to evaluate the prospect of expanding its 600-employee strong automotive team and come up with a vision for the project.
According to Wall Street Journal, sources familiar with the matter reckon that Apple's design head is leaving for personal reasons and not due to any performance constraints with the electric car project aka Project Titan. However, the project is reportedly ridden with issues as the team working on it failed to come up with any clear achievable goals.
"The team has encountered problems in laying out clear goals for the project. Apple has urged it to push ahead with ambitious deadlines even though some on the team felt that those targets weren't attainable," sources told the Journal.
Apple is yet to publicly acknowledge its ongoing work on an electric car. However, the project is deemed to be the company's worst kept secret as the company has hired some of the industry's best engineers for its new-found automotive technology.
Besides, the iPhone maker has been repeatedly accused of poaching former Tesla employees and many others like A123 Systems in the last few years. Mission Motors, an electric motorbike start-up has even blamed Apple's electric car project for hiring key employees away from the firm.
"Mission had a great group of engineers, specifically electric drive expertise...Apple knew that − they knew it, and they went and got it," proclaimed Derek Kaufman, former chief executive of Mission Motors, while criticising Apple for poaching its key staff.
As far as the status of Project Titan is concerned, the industry's best engineers are working to build and ship an electric car by 2019.