Tesla Autopilot director writes article in support of Musk

Credit: Tesla

Tesla’s Director of the Autopilot program has penned an article in support of ratifying Elon Musk’s 2018 compensation plan, ahead of the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting this week.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla’s Director of Autopilot Software, has written an article on X calling Musk the “key driver of AI and autonomy at Tesla.” Elluswamy looks back at earlier days at Tesla, pointing to how Musk pushed the company to its current spot, with a particular focus on moving away from sensors and toward camera-based hardware.

“He was the one who bet on vision and AI to solve autonomy instead of relying on sensor crutches and high-definition maps,” wrote Elluswamy in the article. “For anyone who has experienced the latest versions of FSD, it might be obvious that it can see all the important things and drive the car based on pure vision.”

The Autopilot lead has been with Tesla for a little over 10 years, and in that time, the automaker has gone from a niche seller of electric vehicles (EVs) to the EV giant that the rest of the industry has tried to copy. Musk has long been a proponent of Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD), saying often that unlocking autonomy would be the company’s most profitable, and arguably its most significant contribution.

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“However, back in 2020 and earlier it wasn’t obvious to most. In fact, many “experts” in the field ridiculed Tesla and Elon for these choices. We have proved them wrong by shipping supervised FSD to millions of cars and shown that with good AI software, the car is able to handle the complexities of city driving such as making turns, handling intersection, yielding to pedestrians etc., just by seeing outside.”

In addition to Musk’s work on camera- and neural net-based Autopilot and FSD, Elluswamy notes that he also got a jump on building humanoid robots, even prior to ChatGPT or other commonly used examples of AI.

You can read Elluswamy’s full article on X here.

Musk also responded to Elluswamy’s article on X, saying that the Autopilot lead had been the first person to join the AI/Autopilot team, and adding that Musk didn’t make him write the article.

Tesla’s annual stockholder meeting is coming up on Thursday, and shareholders are currently voting on a number of different proposals. Perhaps most notable are proposals three and four, which propose moving incorporation from Delaware to Texas, and ratifying Musk’s 2018 compensation plan that was struck down by a judge in January.

Many shareholders have been vocal about the plan in recent months, and Tesla itself has been pushing ads and even a dedicated website to encouraging investors to vote in favor of these proposals.

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Tesla Autopilot director writes article in support of Musk
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