Volkswagen stated it had hired an executive from Apple as a director accountable for technical development at its commercial vehicles department.
Alexander Hitzinger, 47, is set to take group-wide responsibility for the automaker’s efforts to develop self-driving vehicles and offer “Mobility as a Service”, an initiative that seeks to keep motorists behind the wheel of its cars even if they do not own them.
Hitzinger had been collaborating Apple’s electric car project, having previously worked at Porsche, VW’s sports car division. Before that, the German-born engineer worked in Formula 1 racing at Red Bull Technology.
The appointment, which takes immediate effect, comes as the automaker looks forward to meet the challenge from Silicon Valley tech companies that accelerating their development of fuel-efficient, self-driving cars.