Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Former Apple executive Doug Field's return from Tesla to Apple has fueled speculation of the company's expected efforts in the field of self-driving automobiles.
Field was Apple's vice president of Mac hardware engineering and moved to Tesla in 2013, where he oversaw production of the Tesla Model 3 car until this May. An Apple statement to Tech Crunch confirmed that Field is back with the company, but did not explain his role.
Apple has conducted a program, Project Titan, toward the manufacture of self-driving cars. Although the project was believed to be slowing, an affidavit used in an FBI investigation and revealed in July indicated that Apple is involved in car components.
The affidavit said the company is building prototypes and "drivetrain suspension mounts," and access to information about the project has been given to 5,000 employees. Previous estimates said the number involved was 1,000, Business Insider reported Friday.
Since 2015, Apple has revealed drawings of futuristic-style automobiles without actually confirming that it is going into the self-driving car business. It announced in 2016 that it abandoned plans to develop a car and instead would concentrate on components, but Apple traditionally has manufactured and sold complete products and not elements of other companies' products.
A report by technology website Daring Fireball on Thursday suggested that Field will work at Apple with former colleague Bob Mansfield, who has led Project Titan.