Ashok Elluswamy was Musk’s first hire for Tesla autopilot team

Ashok Elluswamy (Second from right)

Indian American head of Tesla Autopilot engineering was hired through Musk’s tweet

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has revealed how he hired Indian American software engineer Ashok Elluswamy as the first person for the electric vehicle major’s Autopilot team through a tweet.

“Ashok is actually the head of Autopilot engineering. Andrej is director of AI; people often give me too much credit and give Andrej too much credit,” Musk tweeted.

“The Tesla Autopilot AI team is extremely talented. Some of the smartest people in the world,” he wrote. “Ashok was the first person recruited from my tweet saying that Tesla is starting an Autopilot team!”

Read: Tesla in India to remain as dream; Elon Musk puts India in queue after being ‘misinformed’ (May 25, 2017)

As the Director of Tesla’s Autopilot Software, Elluswamy is responsible for leading the autonomy software team for the autopilot division and creation of large-scale automatic ground truth pipelines to train neural networks with massive amounts of diverse, high-quality data, as per his LinkedIn profile.

Besides this, he is also responsible for developing an accurate and detailed geometric and semantic understanding of the world using the best of both machine-learned and engineered models and building robust, causal, predictive models for other agents in both geometry and semantic state spaces.

His stint at Tesla began as a Software Engineer for its Autopilot division in Jan 2014 rising up to become a Senior Software Engineer in the same division in June 2016.

In Sept 2017, Elluswamy became senior Staff Software Engineer. he was promoted as the Director of the Autopilot Software in May 2019.

Read: Infosys and Elon Musk establish $1 billion to save humanity from destruction by A.I. (December 14, 2015)

Prior to joining Tesla, Elluswamy was associated with Volkswagen Electronic Research Lab for around seven months and also with WABCO Vehicle Control Systems for almost two years.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the College of Engineering Guindy, Chennai and a Master’s degree in Robotics System Development from Carnegie Mellon University.

The cars manufactured by Tesla are equipped with advanced hardware that is capable of supporting “autopilot features and full self-driving capabilities”, according to the he company website.

Recently, Musk tweeted that he is hiring Artificial Intelligence (AI) engineers who are passionate about solving day-to-day problems through AI.

Read: UAE – Meet Indian-origin Ashok Elluswamy, Elon Musk’s first recruit for Tesla Autopilot team (January 3, 2021)

“As always, Tesla is looking for hardcore AI engineers who care about solving problems that directly affect people’s lives in a major way,” Musk tweeted along with a link to apply for the job.

In a 2014 interview, Musk said he looked for “evidence of exceptional ability” in a potential employee, rather than a degree from a prestigious university.
“There is no need even to have a college degree at all, or even high school,” Musk said during an interview with the German automotive publication Auto Bild about his hiring preferences more broadly.

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