Andrej Karpathy has announced on Twitter that he will not return to Tesla. After five years with the company, the “director of artificial intelligence” had been on leave for a few months and had decided to resign. We don’t yet know what it will do next, but one thing is certain: it was at the heart of the manufacturer’s all-electric strategy to offer fully autonomous driving. We can see him explaining some of Tesla’s choices in this conference broadcast last year.
It was not he who was responsible for the Autopilot program, this role falls to Ashok Elluswamy, present at Tesla for eight years, and Milan Kovac who has been there for six years. Figures that are more discreet, but no less important for the progress of autonomous driving, as Andrej Karpathy himself insisted on recalling in another tweet. This remains a blow, as this specialist in neural networks and image analysis was central in the choice of Tesla Vision.
Tesla Vision is the name given to the company’s ongoing strategy, which is all about cameras for autonomous driving. Unlike its competitors who opt for a myriad of sensors and in particular radars and LiDAR specialized in distance measurements, the Californian firm thinks it can achieve autonomous driving with only cameras and the analysis of their images. It’s a risky bet, especially since Tesla is almost alone in this camp, but we don’t yet know the conclusions of the bet. There is very little chance that the company will change course now that Andrej Karpathi is gone, however, as Elon Musk would be the biggest proponent of this strategy.
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While waiting to know who will be chosen by Tesla to replace this key role, The Information understands that this is only one of the departures of senior executives in the company. The site also mentions the departure of an engineering manager who worked on batteries and solar panels, while the diversity and inclusion manager updated her profile. LinkedInconfirming rumors of his departure.