Tesla CEO Musk Seeks 'Hardcore' Engineers To Beef Up Autopilot Software


Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

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In three tweets late Thursday, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said he’s on the lookout for “hardcore software engineers” to “achieve generalized full autonomy” for his line of electric cars.

The latest addition to that lineup was the Model X unveiled at the end of September — around the same time that Musk told one publication, “If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple.”

Musk has made clear for a while that there will be a software switch he magically turns on that will release an update to existing vehicles, endowing them with a self-driving consciousness. But that’s still predicted to be some years away yet — probably at least three.

Meanwhile, Tesla Motors is seeking engineers to expedite the process.

Tesla Autopilot Test

Tesla Autopilot Test

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“Ramping up the Autopilot software team at Tesla to achieve generalized full autonomy,” Musk tweeted.

“If interested, contact [email protected] We are looking for hardcore software engineers. No prior experience with cars required. Please include code sample or link to your work. Should mention that I will be interviewing people personally and Autopilot reports directly to me. This is a super high priority.”

In October, Tesla launched Autopilot, its long-awaited driverless car update in beta, moving one step closer to its goal. And earlier this month, the company stole Google’s Jason Wheeler to be its new chief financial officer.

While autopilot won’t take over complete control from the driver in all conditions, Tesla envisions it to take over things like steering within lanes, lane changes, speed management, and traffic-aware cruise control.

Tesla Autopilot sensor system

Tesla Autopilot sensor system

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“Digital control of motors, brakes, and steering helps avoid collisions from the front and sides, as well as preventing the car from wandering off the road. Your car can also scan for a parking space, alert you when one is available, and parallel park on command,” a Tesla blog post from October said.

Although current recruitment (and the project in general) is “super high priority” for Tesla, Box chief executive Aaron Levie still found a moment to have some fun with Musk, tweeting back at him, “Are you accepting candidates with only enterprise cloud computing experience? And can I still be CEO of Box?”

That last was probably in reference to Jack Dorsey’s dual-CEO role at Twitter and Square. We love it.

This article, written by Michael DeWaal-Montgomery, was originally published on VentureBeat, an editorial partner of GreenCarReports.

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