Apple Project Titan loses self-driving and computer vision expert to Faraday Future

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【Summary】 Faraday Future hired away self-driving and computer vision expert Bart Nabbe from Apple.

Alan    Sep 21, 2016 12:30 AM PT
Apple Project Titan loses self-driving and computer vision expert to Faraday Future

As we previously reported, Faraday Future is serious about developing its own self-driving and advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) as evidenced by the company hiring Bosch's engineering director and leading automated driving expert, Jan Becker, to lead its own autonomous driving effort, as well as several other experts in the field.

Those experts are in demand since almost most major tech companies are building teams to develop their own autonomous driving technology.

Now Electrek has learned that Faraday Future hired away from Apple one of those experts in demand, self-driving and computer vision expert Bart Nabbe. 

Nabbe has been a member of the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute for a decade. The university is reputed for its computer vision expertise and its development in self-driving technology. Uber famously hired several experts from the department when they launched their self-driving program in Pittsburgh.

After earning a B.S, in electrical engineering in Venlo College (Netherlands) and an M.S, in computer science at the University of Amsterdam, Nabbe started his graduate career at Carnegie Mellon where he earned his Ph.D in robotics in 2007.

His field of predilection is "planning and perception for autonomous outdoor navigation". He published an impressive number of papers about computer vision topics related to robotic navigation.

He briefly worked at Toyota as Principal Research Scientist, but more recently, he was a member of Apple's "Special Projects". While we can't confirm Nabbe's former role at the Cupertino company, we know that "special projects" is where Apple's ‘Project Titan' lives and that the company has been focusing on self-driving technology for its automotive project.

In the last couple of weeks, the scientist left Apple to join Faraday Future as ‘Director Strategic Partnerships'. We asked FF what the role entails and we will update if we get an answer. While his title is not explicit, it would be surprising if the company doesn't use his expertise in computer vision to improve its own self-driving program – though it could also hint at a possible strategic partnership to develop the technology with another company working in the field.

Test mules for Faraday Future's ADAS were spotted around California in recent weeks.

Update: a Faraday Future spokesperson confirmed that Nabbe will be working on automated driving. Here's a statement the company sent to Electrek:

"Bart is an industry-leader in theoretical and applied autonomous systems, and will serve as an incredible resource to FF as we tackle the complex issue of automated driving. We continue to develop and refine our strategy on short, mid, and long-term autonomous driving solutions, and Bart will direct all strategic partnerships relating to our autonomous driving program."

resource from: electrek

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