Tesla chief Elon Musk has taken to social media to announce that the company is ramping up its autonomous vehicle team and is looking to hire some “hardcore software engineers.” The CEO also revealed on Twitter that he would be conducting the interviews personally and that successful candidates will report directly to him.
Musk said that anyone interested in the position should email Tesla and include a code sample or link to previous work. He added that no experience within the automobile industry was required.
Should mention that I will be interviewing people personally and Autopilot reports directly to me. This is a super high priority.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2015
The software team that Musk is looking to beef up is responsible for Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot vehicle system. It was rolled out to Tesla Model S and Model X cars in late October, letting them automatically steer, change lanes, and adjust speed in response to traffic on highways. The system also uses a combination of cameras, radar, sensors, and mapping data to perform parallel parking maneuvers and alert a driver when a space is available.
Musk tweeted that ramping up the team was “to achieve generalized full autonomy.” While it’s not totally clear how he defines ‘generalized,’ Musk has said that full automation of Tesla’s cars should be possible within three years.
Tesla has said that the Autopilot technology in its current form is not intended to be hands-free, but this hasn’t stopped a number of Tesla owners posting YouTube videos of themselves ignoring this warning. One man even sat in the back seat of his Tesla while it drove down a highway.
In Hong Kong, Autopilot has been disabled wirelessly in response to traffic officials’ concerns that drivers would become distracted by the feature in the city’s notoriously heavily traffic.