Google Steals Tesla’s Autopilot Chief Engineer

Posted: Dec 1 2015, 6:25am CST | by , Updated: Dec 1 2015, 6:31am CST, in News | Cars & Vehicles


Google steals Tesla’s Autopilot Chief Engineer
  • Google hires Tesla’s autopilot chief engineer!

The LinkedIn profile of Robert Rose has been updated showing he has jumped ship from Tesla to Google.

No matter how much Google denies building a new autonomous car, actions speak louder. Robert Rose was an engineer at Tesla up until November 2015. Rose was an engineering manager of the Tesla Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system.

The operatives at 9to5google noticed an update to Robert Rose's LinkedIn profile. It seems Google has hired away the Autopilot chief engineer from Tesla. Previously Rose used to work on the venture SpaceX as a software engineer.

Rose was the former SpaceX Director of Flight Software. It was also reported Rose reported directly to Elon Musk. Therefore his recruitment by Google is not just a trivial matter. 

Either Google is lying about not building an autonomous car or it is creating software backbone for automakers. Rose has experience in building one of the most robust semi-autonomous driving systems ever.

Google could be interested in just powering the system. For example carmakers could be building the physical components of their own autonomous cars. But the software could be Google powered in those autonomous cars.

The move could be the right one in the automotive industry for the tech giant. Rose is a Oregon State University graduate. Rose also has expertise in turning a human-driven car into a semi-autonomous car. The Tesla Model S 7.0 software update did just that with their cars. 

Sources say Tesla also hired a Google engineer from Google’s Maps Street View team. The engineer is named Liang Heng and joined Tesla around the same time Rose left. Heng is a PhD student from the University of Stanford in Electrical Engineering. 

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