Tesla Autopilot Engineering Manager Leaves Elon Musk's Company for Google

Tesla Autopilot 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
If you think the football transfer market is a busy and contested one, then you haven’t been paying attention to what’s happening on the front of IT companies.
Google and Apple have been at each other’s key employees for ages, with a patent war serving as the background. Samsung joined in as well along the way and who knows how many other less important permutations happened without us knowing.

With the separation lines between the automotive industry and the IT one getting murkier every day, Tesla Motors has now become an important figure among the usual suspects like Google and Apple. And now that Google snatched a key figure from Tesla, things couldn’t be any clearer.

Google’s target is called Robert Rose, and starting last May, he was in charge of Tesla’s latest Autopilot update, the one that introduced the “Autosteer” and “Auto Lane Change” features, prompting the release of videos with people doing stupid things with the Model S and the reaction from Tesla that followed.

According to his LinkedIn profile, as quoted by 9to5Google, Robert quit his position at Tesla right after the Autopilot update was launched in October. He probably took a well-deserved sabbatical and a month later he resurfaced as a Google employee.

The reasons Google wanted the man who came up with the successful Tesla Autopilot feature is easy to imagine given its own little project involving those cute, bubbly autonomous cars. As for Mr. Rose, there was the excitement of a new challenge, but also more money, probably, so his motivation is also pretty easily understood.

However, his role at Google isn’t very clear at the moment, but all signs together with common sense indicate he will be working on the company’s autonomous car, even though other projects also fit his “Software Engineer” position, such as the robots being developed by the Boston Dynamics subsidiary.

But even though Robert Rose might have been more than just any Tesla employee (his background suggests he was close to company CEO Elon Musk), Google’s move didn’t go unanswered: Tesla hired a Google Maps Street View engineer around the same time Rose left the company, so, as we’ve said in the beginning, it’s a very dynamic market and we’ll surely be seeing a lot more “transfers” in the future.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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