Turmoil inside Tesla's Autopilot division has reportedly led to multiple departures

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,606   +124
Staff member

Tesla in October 2016 revealed that every new vehicle it builds will come equipped with the hardware necessary for full autonomous driving. The functionality isn’t yet enabled, however, as the company said it needed more time and real-world driving data to perfect the system for maximum safety.

With the requisite hardware already in place, all that would seemingly be needed to enable full autonomy would be a software update.

Unfortunately, that may be more difficult than initially anticipated – a realization that appears to be causing some turmoil within the company.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that employees in the Autopilot team have bumped heads over deadlines as well as design and marketing decisions. More than a dozen people have spoken to the publication regarding disagreements which have likely played a role in the departure of at least 10 engineers and four top managers.

Safety concerns have also apparently been an issue.

Mobileye, the Israeli startup that supplied image-recognition hardware for Tesla’s Autopilot technology, parted ways with the automaker last summer. The firm, which was acquired by Intel earlier this year for $15.3 billion, later said the split was due to Tesla “pushing the envelope in terms of safety.” News of the separation came shortly after a Tesla driver was involved in a fatal accident while Autopilot was engaged.

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Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,661   +1,469
A role in the departure of at least 10 engineers and four top managers......

Of course, money has nothing to do with it.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,493   +5,995
They haven't quit ..... they are just getting better jobs working on those new trucks that is in a previous story!
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,639   +928
Tesla and SpaceX have notorious reputations in engineering circles regarding pay:scheduled work hour ratios, deadlines, project schedules, budgets, and hardware performance/reliability specs. Because of this, their turnover rate is through the roof. It is getting to the point where they are even beginning to have trouble recruiting anything but junior talent.

If you're working less that 60hrs a week, you're slacking. If you're not working upwards of 80, you're never going to get promoted. Your salary is still calculated on a 40hrs/week, 2000hrs/yr schedule - and no OT.

They want bleeding edge hardware, at bargain basement prices, and ahead of schedule.

All of that aside, no engineer would be surprised that releasing hardware for sale before the software is ready has caused friction. This is why software, mechanical, and electrical engineers work in parallel - not series - with their workflows.
 
B

bmw95

Tesla and SpaceX have notorious reputations in engineering circles regarding pay:scheduled work hour ratios, deadlines, project schedules, budgets, and hardware performance/reliability specs. Because of this, their turnover rate is through the roof. It is getting to the point where they are even beginning to have trouble recruiting anything but junior talent.

If you're working less that 60hrs a week, you're slacking. If you're not working upwards of 80, you're never going to get promoted. Your salary is still calculated on a 40hrs/week, 2000hrs/yr schedule - and no OT.

They want bleeding edge hardware, at bargain basement prices, and ahead of schedule.

All of that aside, no engineer would be surprised that releasing hardware for sale before the software is ready has caused friction. This is why software, mechanical, and electrical engineers work in parallel - not series - with their workflows.
Where did you get that info? Just out of curiosity that's all.
 
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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,996   +2,462
"Are Tesla's self-driving goals a bit too ambitious?"

Considering that they still havent convinced physics to allow sensors to work in the snow, yes. Basic driver aid hardware cant work in the snow (drive a car with blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, ece in the snow and watch the dashboard light up like a christmas tree). Autonomous systems from tesla still struggle on basic highway systems after years of work. Basic sensor systems cost almost as much as a car (a lidar sensor is 10k, a whole nissan versa can be had for 12k).

Musk is over-promising again, because he knows he is the golden boy and that VCs will never stop shoveling money at him even if he fails.

Tesla and SpaceX have notorious reputations in engineering circles regarding pay:scheduled work hour ratios, deadlines, project schedules, budgets, and hardware performance/reliability specs. Because of this, their turnover rate is through the roof. It is getting to the point where they are even beginning to have trouble recruiting anything but junior talent.

If you're working less that 60hrs a week, you're slacking. If you're not working upwards of 80, you're never going to get promoted. Your salary is still calculated on a 40hrs/week, 2000hrs/yr schedule - and no OT.

They want bleeding edge hardware, at bargain basement prices, and ahead of schedule.

All of that aside, no engineer would be surprised that releasing hardware for sale before the software is ready has caused friction. This is why software, mechanical, and electrical engineers work in parallel - not series - with their workflows.
Where did you get that info? Just out of curiosity that's all.
Let me google that for you
" https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1....1.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..0.1.74.rmI2naZQgo8 "

Also, you do realize that something running through engineering circles may not have a news article attached to it? I can think of several notorious individuals we will not hire due to past performance, but we dont go running to the news with them.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,639   +928
Where did you get that info? Just out of curiosity that's all.
Word of mouth through my classmates and coworkers who used to work for them. Most don't even respond to their recruiters anymore if they mention SpaceX or Tesla by name in the opening email - because that means the only advantage of that particular position is the fact you'll get to put Tesla or SpaceX on your resume.
 
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bmw95

Word of mouth through my classmates and coworkers who used to work for them. Most don't even respond to their recruiters anymore if they mention SpaceX or Tesla by name in the opening email - because that means the only advantage of that particular position is the fact you'll get to put Tesla or SpaceX on your resume.
Dang that's too bad. I had high hopes, but even at Tesla it seems there's a dark side. Thanks for sharing.
 

Johnnyblaze1957

Posts: 58   +12
Word of mouth through my classmates and coworkers who used to work for them. Most don't even respond to their recruiters anymore if they mention SpaceX or Tesla by name in the opening email - because that means the only advantage of that particular position is the fact you'll get to put Tesla or SpaceX on your resume.
Dang that's too bad. I had high hopes, but even at Tesla it seems there's a dark side. Thanks for sharing.
Its business all have a dark side in this sort of game then pretend shock when something bad happens.