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First Employee on Tesla’s Autopilot Team was Indian American, Elon Musk Reveals

First Employee on Tesla’s Autopilot Team was Indian American, Elon Musk Reveals

  • A robotics engineer, Ashok Elluswamy was hired by the electric vehicle company in 2014.

Indian American Ashok Elluswamy was the first employee to be hired for Tesla’s Autopilot team, Elon Musk disclosed in a Dec. 29 tweet. He said Elluswamy was hired to work as an autopilot team director at his electric vehicle company, with Musk actually using Twitter to ask people to apply for the position back in 2015. 

“I tweeted that Tesla is about to launch an autopilot team. Through that tweet, Ashok was the first to be selected in the auto pilot team,” Musk said in a tweet. “Andrej is director of AI; People often give me too much credit and give Andrej too much credit. The Tesla Autopilot AI team is extremely talented. Some of the smartest people in the world.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Elluswamy started working with Tesla in 2014. Before that, he was a research intern at Volkswagen Electronic Research Lab and a software engineer at WABCO Vehicle Control System.

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His LinkedIn profile describes him as a “robotics engineer with broad experience from computer vision and perception through planning and control. Inspired to solve meaningful and challenging real-world problems using state-of-the-art technology! Eager to work hard and learn continuously.”

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.

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