On Wednesday, Andrej Karpathy, the AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Autopilot leader at Tesla, announced that he would no longer be working for the electric car maker. He said that helping Tesla over the last five years in moving toward its goals had been a great pleasure for him and parting ways was not an easy decision.
He stated that during this time, Autopilot had advanced to city streets from lane keeping and he was looking forward to seeing the team continue this momentum in the future.
No immediate plans
Karpathy also added that he did not have any immediate plans, but was going to take time to explore his long-term passions associated with technical work in education, open source, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive of Tesla, thanked the AI head for his work. Karpathy had recently been on a sabbatical from Tesla for a couple of months. There was a team of senior machine learning engineers and scientists who worked under him and reported to him directly.
Last month, federal figures showed that 70% of the car crashes reported since June 2021, which involved advanced driver-assisted systems, had been manufactured by Tesla. However, officials had warned that it was incomplete data and could not be used to evaluate which carmaker had the safest systems.
A self-driving car was promised by Musk in late 2016 to all Tesla fans that would be capable of driving to New York from Los Angeles with just a simple touch. He had promised a release by the end of 2017. Billions of dollars were also raised by the CEO in 2019 for the company. He promised the investors that by the end of 2020, there would be about 1 million ‘robotaxi ready’ vehicles.
In 2019, the chief executive had warned investors that he may not be able to get the timeline right, but he could get the job done. Up until now, Tesla has not been able to come up with a demonstration of an autonomous vehicle. Instead, the company offers driver assistance features, such as automated navigation, lane-keeping assistance, and cruise control with traffic awareness.
But, even the most advanced package of the company, which is still experimental and marketed as a Full Self-Driving Beta system in the United States, needs a human driver to pay attention to the road. They have to keep their hands on the wheel and be ready to take over any moment.
The departure of Karpathy comes after Tesla shut down one of its offices located in San Mateo, California. The office had been used by data annotation teams for improving the driver assistance tech of the company.
The California Employment Development Department disclosed that the office had a total of 229 people who were dismissed. As the senior director of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Tesla, Karpathy had been working in Palo Alto, California, which had been the former headquarter of the company and directly reported to Elon Musk.