Apple Poaches Another Automotive Technology Expert For Project Titan
In the latest evidence that Apple may be poised to enter the car industry, the company has again added to its arsenal of automotive talent. Jonathan Cohen, Nvidia’s former director of deep learning software, has joined Apple, according to an update on his LinkedIn page.
Cohen’s LinkedIn profile notes that he’s been with Apple one month and lists his position simply as “Software at Apple.” But given his role in working on self-driving car technology at Nvidia, it’s likely that Cohen could be part of the growing team responsible for development of the Apple’s top-secret Project Titanautomotive intiative. (Sci-Tech Today reported that Apple didn’t respond to its request for information about Cohen’s role at the company.)
Nvidia, known for its graphics processing units (GPUs) that are widely used in gaming, has moved aggressively into automotive, supplying the technology needed for rich graphics processing used in cutting-edge vehicles from Audi, BMW, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz and others. At its press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show(CES) last January, Nvidia unveiled its Drive PX computer specifically for self-driving cars and showed how it’s “deep learning” visual computing allows for better object recognition that’s crucial for autonomous driving technology.
Cohen has been with Nvidia since 2008 and joined the company after working on computer-generated image technologies for the movie industry. He was part of a team that won an Academy Award in 2007 for technical achievement in creating realistic animation of fluids such as gases and liquids.
While at Nvidia Cohen founded the company’s emerging applications group that develops software for GPU computing for a wide variety of applications. At CES 2015, Cohen explained in a YouTube video how Nvidia’s Drive PX platform uses “deep learning, a field of artificial intelligence that attempts to digitally replicate the processes of the human brain … to recognize other vehicles, pedestrians, road signs and other conditions, paving the way for autonomous vehicles.”
While Apple hasn’t commented on whether it’s building a vehicle, speculation and clues to the company’s automotive ambitions have been mounting. Apple has been on an automotive talent buying bingefor over a year, hiring key people from Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and electric motorcycle startup Mission Motors. A123 Systems even sued Apple, claiming it poached the electric-car batteries maker’s employees.
In the past few months, Apple has also inquired about using GoMentum Station, a former U.S. Navy property near San Francisco, that’s now a facility for testing self-driving cars, and the company has met with the California DMV to discuss autonomous car regulation.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.