Apple Hires Nvidia AI Director With Experience in Self-Driving Car Systems

Apple has hired Nvidia's Jonathan Cohen, director of deep learning software for the company, according to Cohen's LinkedIn page, which was first spotted by Re/code. Deep learning essentially trains computers to recognize patterns in data and then organizes them in a similar way to humans. Nvidia uses deep learning in its Nvidia Drive PX platform, which is used to power self-driving cars.


Cohen's LinkedIn page doesn't list an official title with Apple, instead only listing "Software" as his position. He's held multiple positions within Nvidia since joining the company in 2008, starting out as a Senior Research Scientist and building his way to Director of Deep Learning Software this year. Cohen also has experience working with Nvidia's CUDA platform, which is used to power GPUs in broad-ranging use cases like air traffic control and blood flow prediction software.

As noted by Re/code, Apple currently uses deep learning for Siri and Apple Maps. It's unknown what Cohen's expertise could be applied to at Apple, but at this year's CES Cohen was explaining how Nvidia's deep learning technology was being used in its self-driving car platform Drive PX.

Apple has met with California DMV officials regarding self-driving car laws within the state and multiple reports from The Wall Street Journal indicate that the Cupertino company is exploring the functionality with the possibility of including it in a later iteration of the much-rumored Apple Car.

In recent years, Apple has poached employees from Tesla, Ford, GM, A123 Systems and Samsung for its secretive automotive project. More recently, it's hired away talent from electric motorcycle startup Mission Motors, who had to close its doors after the talent drain. In September, it was reported that Apple was labeling the car project a "committed project", speeding up development and aiming for a 2019 launch date.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
64 months ago
Idle Apple Car speculation



* looks like Magic Mouse… on wheels
* Gorilla Glass windshield (though Apple would prefer if you didn’t know that)
* car chassis is unibody made out of machined anodised aluminium
* the car scratches easily, leading to a booming growth of a whole industry of third-party covers
* available in Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold (*actually pink)
* uses Apple-designed CPU and motors (*built by Samsung)
* runs carOS (iOS-derived)
* no steering wheel or pedals, everything is controlled using Siri and touchscreen gestures (with 3D touch)
* Taptic Engine built into the seat gently taps your butt if you doze off while driving
* for a more traditional experience, pair your iPhone with Apple Car and tilt to steer (like in racing iOS apps)
* just like Magic Mouse, charging port is on the bottom of the car
* you can avoid having to lift your car manually in order to reach charging port by using Apple Jack (*optional accessory, not included)
* uses non-removable and non-user-serviceable Li-Ion battery
* battery that no longer holds charge can be replaced at the nearest Genius Garage (for a fee, of course)
* charging cable uses yet another Apple proprietary connector
* adapters for common US and EU sockets available, featuring scratch-prone white plastic handles with no grip whatsoever
* you have to provide your Apple ID and activate the car over the internet before you can drive anywhere
* self-driving mode only supports POIs that exist in Apple Maps
* new iCloud app: Find My Car
* before every OTA update you have to read through and accept 100+ page long Terms & Conditions
* base model still comes with 16 GB storage
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
please don't make a self-driving car, Apple

please :(
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
He keeps saying, "Somehow it learns..."

Apparently it's a mystery even to the director.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
I wonder how long before they start poaching people from McDonalds, there's money to be made in fast food as well, they might be able to make the thinnest burgers for the most money.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago

please don't make a self-driving car, Apple

please :(

If it comes with Apple Maps, buy a thick Bible and learn to pray fast.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
People who say that neural networks model the human brain have never studied the human brain.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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