Apple Nabs NVIDIA 'Deep Learning' Exec For Secretive Self-Driving Car Program
Despite the fact that it couldn't be more obvious that Apple is going to be getting into the automotive market, the company remains quiet on the matter. Well, kind of. It seems like every week the company drops one major hint after major hint. Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the automotive market is in need of a "massive change", and a few months ago, it leaked out that he visited BMW's factory in Leipzig, Germany, to help become familiar with the intricacies of the industry.
Now, there's even more fuel being poured on the fire. According to Re/code, Apple has just plucked a top AI expert from NVIDIA, Jonathan Cohen. At NVIDIA, Cohen was the company's senior manager for CUDA Libraries and Algorithms, recently responsible for working on the company's automatic Drive PX platform.
You don't need to read into this too much to understand why Apple wanted him: Drive PX (and CX) is NVIDIA's solution for making our dumb cars smart. While it's not at this time focused much on autonomous driving, Cohen's expertise in deep-learning is definitely suitable to help Apple achieve such goals.
NVIDIA talks DRIVE PX at CES 2015 - Discussion starts around the 6 minute mark.
This hire doesn't necessarily mean that Apple will design its own hardware platform, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. It could be that if NVIDIA's (or a competing) platform is deemed mature enough, it could be adopted, but as we've seen from Apple over the years, if it can do something on its own, it will.
One thing's for sure: things are becoming really interesting, really fast.