Apple has recruited Desi Ujkashevic, Ford’s Global Director, Global Automotive Safety Engineering Office to ramp up the development of Apple Car, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Desi joined Ford in 1991 as a Ford College Graduate in Product Development. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Masters of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering and an MBA all from the University of Michigan.
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According to MacRumours, Apple is now rumored to be working on a fully autonomous self-driving vehicle that will not require user intervention to drive, going further than any other car manufacturer to date. It’s a highly ambitious project, and rumors indicate that Apple wants to design a car with no steering wheel and no pedals.
Apple’s AI and machine learning chief John Giannandrea is heading up the Apple Car project, and Kevin Lynch, known for his work on the Apple Watch, has also joined the Car team and it said to be largely responsible for Apple’s push toward a self-driving car, the publication says.
Until now, Desi was the Global Director of Ford’s Global Automotive Safety Engineering Office. She had responsibility for all current and future program safety strategy (including Autonomous Vehicles), corporate rule-making, advanced strategy development, Field Service Actions, and Program Safety compliance. She was also serving on the Board of Directors for the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of America and the Transportation Improvement Association (TIA).
In her previous role, she was the Engineering Director for North American Vehicle Programs where she was responsible for Engineering for Car and Utility Programs managing engineering design deliverables including achievement of cost, profit, quality, and timing objectives. Prior to this, Desi was the Global Director, Interiors Engineering where she led the Strategy, Program execution, Quality and launch for Interiors on all Global Programs. Previous to this, Desi completed a 3-year international assignment in Germany, serving as Ford’s Director of Engineering for Body Systems and Design Operations. Desi has a wealth of global automotive industry leadership experience, driving Product, Quality, and Operational Excellence with a focus to enhance the Automotive Customer Experience and enable advanced technologies to deliver current and future mobility demands.