Tesla hired Jim Keller as head of the company’s autopilot initiative, which means the automaker is getting rather serious about its future self-driving cars.
At the end of last month, Keller’s name was added to Tesla’s payroll, and if you’re not sure why this information made news, it’s because of Keller’s reputation. The legend says that if your company is in dire need of a butt-kicking chip, this is the guy you should be hiring.
Keller is a legendary CPU architect, who contributed to the creation of the first 64-bit consumer desktop chips. Before designing the K8 core, he earned his living by helping with the design of AMD’s K7 processors, both of which became iconic in the business.
Unsurprisingly, Apple was the one to hire him for his next big gig, where he created the magnificent A-series processor; this series was debuted in the iPad and iPhone 4. He then returned to AMD to help build the company’s forthcoming Zen processor architecture.
Then, Keller left AMD last September, causing the geek world to start speculating about his next job. Who would hire him – Intel? Samsung? ARM? And now we have the answer: He’s Tesla’s new hiring for the department of autopilot endeavors.
Some of the biggest players in the technology market are seriously committing their time and resources to plaster the insides of automobiles with smart functions: Google’s self-driving cars are frequently cruising down California’s streets, Uber’s is consulting with top university researchers about autonomous vehicles, and Apple’s been rumored to also take a strong interest in the field.
But actually drawing up and developing a self-driving car isn’t that easy. Ton of variables come into play when it comes to keeping and autonomous safe on the wild streets; the car works off a continuous stream of data zooming in from numerous sensors of various types.
Seeing that a safe system in this case is literally a matter of life and death, developers are really taking their time. For example, Tesla’s Autopilot mode has only been able to stay safe on highways, in the form of an “advanced cruise control.”
It’s a long way till we see truly autonomous vehicles on the city streets as regulars, and all the big tech names are racing to be the first on that finish line. Hiring this processor-talent, Tesla is finally putting its money where its mouth is.
Image Source: Mashable