Dragos Maciuca

We learned today that Ford is staffing up a research and development center in Silicon Valley located in Palo Alto, California, and heading the automaker’s new R&D facility is a former Apple engineer.

Dragos Maciuca, who served as a senior controls systems engineer with mobile technologies at Apple since early 2013, will head the research center’s 125 scientists and researchers, Ford told CNBC.

Prior to his tenure at Apple, Maciuca worked in various technology and research roles including for automakers Nissan and BMW.

As for what the former Apple engineer will focus on at Ford, Reuters has this:

“The research center will focus on projects such as the integration of Ford vehicles with the Nest application interface, which targets home and emergency system management while on the road.”

Apple of course has its own auto-related projects involving iPhone integration within vehicles, most recently CarPlay which Ford is committed to supporting, but Maciuca’s move from Apple to lead Ford’s Palo Alto research center is likely unrelated.

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