Jamie Carlson, the North America-based vice president of autonomous driving for NIO and former staff at Apple’s car project Titan, resigned in June and returned to Apple’s Special Projects Group, where Titan is operated, Chinese tech media 36Kr reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
Carlson left Apple and joined NIO North America R&D Center on Oct. 16, 36Kr reported. Former Momenta R&D director Ren Shaoqing will take over Carlson’s job and report directly to NIO CEO Li Bin, 36Kr reported, citing a NIO executive who confirmed the information.
According to public information, Ren graduated from a joint doctoral program between the University of Science and Technology of China and Microsoft Research Asia and proposed an efficient framework for object detection Faster RCNN and image recognition algorithm ResNet.
In 2016, Ren won the CVPR Best Paper Award, the top conference in the field of computer vision, for his paper regarding ResNet.
Ren was selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2018. The same year, his autonomous driving-related papers became the second most cited papers in the 2018 Auto driving-rated Google Scholar citation list, 36Kr reported.
Ren’s addition is thought to be a clear signal for NIO to increase investment in self-driving research and NIO’s decision to move the focus of its auto-driving business to China, 36Kr reported.