Tesla’s Autopilot losing track of devs crashing out of 'leccy car maker

Chunk of software engineering department walks after Musk's timing commitment – reports


Tesla's Autopilot department – developing the software for the 'leccy car maker's autonomous driving systems – has lost a chunky proportion of its staff, according to reports.

The exits come in the midst of a wider shake-up of the software unit, according to Telsa fan site Electrek. The site names five engineers from a total of 11 who have left the company. It suggested the departures are developers who do not subscribe to Musk's optimistic deadlines for autonomous driving.

Elon Musk has set aggressive targets for Autopilot to have its so-called Full Self Driving (FSD) system able to, er, fully self-drive by next year.

Despite Musk's commitment to timings, Tesla has struggled with the difficulties of real world driving and the unpredictability of real world drivers. Testing by Consumer Reports last month judged Tesla's systems to be far worse than people at changing lanes for instance.

Musk famously said in 2015 that building systems to drive cars was an easy problem to solve – he said in March that year that self-driving cars were "almost a solved problem".

smart city concept drawing - self-driving cars, wifi hotspots etc - but no people

Destroying the city to save the robocar

READ MORE

The difficulty for Tesla is that it has been selling FSD as an option which will be enabled on its cars. Tesla recently promised a chip upgrade was all that older cars would need to become, once the software is sorted out, fully self-driving.

Current cars are sold on a promise that they have all the needed hardware in place and are simply waiting for the software to catch up. At some point customers will demand that FSD actually works, or some will want their cash back.

Of course the larger problem is that self-driving is more than a software problem; it requires real world testing and convincing of regulators before it becomes a usable function.

The Register has asked Tesla to comment. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Red Hat Kubernetes security report finds people are the problem
    Puny human brains baffled by K8s complexity, leading to blunder fears

    Kubernetes, despite being widely regarded as an important technology by IT leaders, continues to pose problems for those deploying it. And the problem, apparently, is us.

    The open source container orchestration software, being used or evaluated by 96 per cent of organizations surveyed [PDF] last year by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has a reputation for complexity.

    Witness the sarcasm: "Kubernetes is so easy to use that a company devoted solely to troubleshooting issues with it has raised $67 million," quipped Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at IT consultancy The Duckbill Group, in a Twitter post on Monday referencing investment in a startup called Komodor. And the consequences of the software's complication can be seen in the difficulties reported by those using it.

    Continue reading
  • Infosys skips government meeting – and collecting government taxes
    Tax portal wobbles, again

    Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

    The wobbly projext is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a "technical glitch" that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

    Continue reading
  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use
    Phew!

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022