Tesla names Apple exec Doug Field as head of new vehicle development

Article by Anita Panait, on October 25, 2013

Tesla Motors has appointed Doug Field as the vice president of vehicle programs, making him "responsible for driving development of new vehicles." Prior to Tesla, Field was vice president of Mac hardware engineering at Apple Inc., in charge of development of several Apple products, including the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac, Tesla said in a statement.

Field was also a former engineer at Ford. Field remarked that until Tesla, he had never seriously considered leaving Apple. He said that he started his career “with the goal of creating incredible cars,” but left the auto industry “in search of fast-paced, exciting engineering challenges elsewhere."

He said that since Tesla is the first high tech auto company in modern history, the carmaker presents an opportunity for him to “pursue the dream of building the best cars in the world” while being part of one of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk highlighted the importance of Field's experience in consumer electronics and automobiles. He said that Field has demonstrated the leadership and technical talent “to develop and deliver outstanding products.”

He noted that Tesla's future depends on engineers who can “create the most innovative, technologically advanced vehicles in the world,” making Field an important addition to the carmaker’s leadership team.

The new Tesla Model S could really be considered as an evolution in automotive engineering, thanks to the fact it has managed to combine performance, safety and efficiency in a single full-electric package. Aside from the having the longest range among electric vehicles and gaining the highest possible safety ratings, the Model S keeps getting better with over-the-air software updates.

Thanks to the fact that it is underpinned by Tesla’s distinct architecture, the Model S has a very low center of gravity, which greatly helps in lowering the risk of rollover while improving both performance and handling. Tesla’s platform has allowed the battery to be located on the floor and its unique electric drivetrain to be placed beneath the Model S. Moreover, the new Tesla Model S has a crumple zone larger than other performance sedans – thanks to the fact that it has no conventional engine – allowing it to better absorb the energy from a front impact.

The safety value of these configurations is reflected on the top safety ratings that the Tesla Model S has earned from agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP). In addition, the Model S has set a record of having the lowest likelihood of injury to its occupants after tests in the United States.

The new Tesla Model is considered as one of the safest cars on the road, thanks to an array of standard active safety features like automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, collision warning, lane departure warning, and a number of optional convenience elements like autosteer, autopark, summon and traffic-aware cruise control.

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Topics: tesla, apple

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