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Tesla AI And Autopilot Leader Andrej Karpathy Leaves The Company

Andrej Karpathy, former Tesla AI and Autopilot leader, has officially left the company. 

Karpathy wrote on Twitter: “It’s been a great pleasure to help Tesla towards its goals over the last 5 years and a difficult decision to part ways. In that time, Autopilot graduated from lane keeping to city streets and I look forward to seeing the exceptionally strong Autopilot team continue that momentum.”

“I have no concrete plans for what’s next but look to spend more time revisiting my long-term passions around technical work in AI, open source and education,” he continued. 

Many had speculated that Karpathy could be on his way out after he took a months long sabbatical from the company, CNBC reported

“Thanks for everything you have done for Tesla! It has been an honor working with you,” Elon Musk wrote to him on Twitter. 

The pro-Tesla bloggers over at electrek called his departure a “big loss”. 

“Karpathy joined Tesla more than five years ago as a neural net and computer vision expert. He quickly rose through the ranks and became a big part of Tesla’s Autopilot team and the automaker’s effort to develop a full self-driving system,” they wrote. 

“The departure is likely going to be a big blow to Tesla’s self-driving program and broader AI effort,” they continued. 

The move comes as Tesla’s Autopilot software has come under renewed scrutiny by the NHTSA and politicians. Recall, just days ago, Tesla laid off 200 of its Autopilot workers and shuttered its San Mateo office that focused on Autopilot. 

Meanwhile, the loss of employees in the Autopilot division came days after we reported that Teslas on Autopilot were found to crash more than competitors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been gathering the data for about a year. It said weeks ago that it had documented more than 200 crashes involving Teslas on some form of automated driving system.

The data will “single out” Tesla for a “disproportionately high number” of crashes, AP wrote last week. The data showed that Tesla’s crash rate per 1,000 vehicles was “substantially higher” than other automakers. The data was being collected as part of a NHTSA investigation looking into Tesla vehicles’ mysterious penchants for crashing into stopped vehicles and emergency vehicles on roadways – a disturbing trend we have been documenting for the better part of the last several years. 

Remember, we wrote back in February that the NHTSA was looking at over 416,000 Teslas over “phantom braking”. 

The agency had opened a formal investigation into 416,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles over reports of unexpected brake activation at high speeds when driver-assistance system Autopilot is engaged. 

No word if that investigation has anything to do with Karpathy’s resignation…

Tyler Durden
Thu, 07/14/2022 – 13:30
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