Tesla’s Head of Autopilot Software Departs After Six Months


Jim Keller to oversee Autopilot development

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After just six months on the job, former Apple exec Chris Lattner has left his post as head of Autopilot software at Tesla, reports Reuters.

“Chris just wasn’t the right fit for Tesla, and we’ve decided to make a change,” a Tesla spokeswoman told Reuters.

The feeling was mutual for Lattner, who tweeted, “Turns out that Tesla isn’t a good fit for me after all. I’m interested to hear about roles for a seasoned engineering leader!”

Tesla announced it’s bringing on board Andrej Karpathy, formerly a research scientist at OpenAI. He will head up artificial intelligence and the Tesla Vison team, and will report directly to CEO Elon Musk. Karpathy will work with Jim Keller, who’s now overseeing autopilot hardware and software.

According to Automotive News, Tesla’s Autopilot division has faced rapid turnover for the past few months. The automaker also broke ties with development partner Mobileye over differences in autonomous philosophy last summer. Tesla recently announced that all new models, including the Model 3 compact sedan that will start at $35,000, would come equipped with SAE Level 5 autonomous-capable hardware as standard, though self-driving features would be turned on gradually as they are validated through testing and as regulations allow.

Source: Reuters, Automotive News (Subscription required)

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