According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has chosen Bob Mansfield to lead the secretive Project Titan.
Mansfield is a highly regarded senior executive of Apple who played an integral role in the development and release of several iconic Apple products, including the MacBook Air, iMac and iPad. Mansfield, who was also one of the top executives from when the late Steve Jobs was in charge of Apple, joined the company back in 1999.
Mansfield, however, has pulled out from a day-to-day role at Apple since 2013, leaving the company's executive team and taking the role of adviser but remaining with Apple to work on special projects while reporting to CEO Tim Cook. One of these special projects was the Apple Watch, which was launched last year.
According to the Wall Street Journal's sources, Mansfield has now been tapped to oversee Project Titan, which is focused on developing what has been simply referred to as the Apple Car.
Recently, Mansfield has been rarely seen in Apple aside from the occasional visit, but according to the sources, earlier this month, they noticed in the company directory that all senior managers under Project Titan were reporting to Mansfield.
Apple's decision to slide Mansfield into the role as Project Titan head would make sense for the company, given his experience in important Apple products and the Apple Car certainly being a special project.
Of course, Apple might not confirm Mansfield's move into Project Titan, as the company has been very secretive about the program and its automobile development efforts. Apple has been largely silent about Project Titan, despite numerous reports and rumors surfacing regarding it.
The report comes just after the recently released information that the launch date of the Apple Car has been pushed back by a year, to 2021 from the expected release of 2020.
According to the report, the one-year delay was caused by certain challenges that Project Titan has crashed into. One such challenge is the fact that Apple needs to significantly improve its cloud infrastructure in preparation for the Apple Car, which is expected to capture massive amounts of information and then send them into Apple's servers.
Another challenge is the departure of Steve Zadesky, the former head of Project Titan, due to personal reasons. His exit from Apple caused significant disruption to the program's progress, with new leadership needing to be introduced to replace Zadesky.
The new leadership is now believed to be Mansfield, and for Apple Car hopefuls, this could be widely regarded as good news.