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Tesla picks up Apple veteran to lead Autopilot Software team

Tesla issued a blog post today announcing the arrival of Chris Lattner, who will be joining the company as the new Vice President of Autopilot Software. Lattner was an Apple veteran, having worked at the Silicon Valley tech giant for 11 years and largely credited with the creation of Apple’s Swift programming language used for building apps.

Prior to Lattner being hired, SpaceX Vice President of Software, Jinnah Hosein, was serving as the interim head of Autopilot for Tesla. With the arrival of Lattner, Hosein will no longer be serving in a dual role capacity and shift focus back to SpaceX. “We would like to thank Jinnah for the efforts needed to achieve excellence in both roles, David Nister, our Vice President of Autopilot Vision, and the team for their exceptional work in advancing Autopilot.” says Tesla through the company’s blog post.




The addition of Lattner represents a major victory for the electric car company, and comes at a time when Tesla is advancing on its Enhanced Autopilot feature which aims to bring Model S and Model X vehicles equipped with Autopilot 2.0 hardware to feature parity with first generation Autopilot cars. Tesla’s latest software update is a first iteration towards its Autosteer driving-assist feature, but the company’s ultimate goal is to achieve full autonomy through Autopilot 2.0’s Full Self-Driving capabilities. CEO Elon Musk plans to demonstrate a vehicle driving on its own from Los Angeles to New York by the end of this year.

We’ve provided a copy of the welcome letter issued by Tesla through the company blog.

Welcome Chris Lattner

We would like to welcome Chris Lattner, who will join Tesla as our Vice President of Autopilot Software. Chris’ reputation for engineering excellence is well known. He comes to Tesla after 11 years at Apple where he was primarily responsible for creating Swift, the programming language for building apps on Apple platforms and one of the fastest growing languages for doing so on Linux. Prior to Apple, Chris was lead author of the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure, an open source umbrella project that is widely used in commercial products and academic research today.

As Chris joins Tesla, we would like to give a special thanks to Jinnah Hosein, SpaceX’s Vice President of Software, who has been serving a dual role as the interim Vice President of Tesla Autopilot Software and will now be heading back to SpaceX full-time. We would like to thank Jinnah for the efforts needed to achieve excellence in both roles, David Nister, our Vice President of Autopilot Vision, and the team for their exceptional work in advancing Autopilot.

We are very excited that Chris is joining Tesla to lead our Autopilot engineering team and accelerate the future of autonomous driving.

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