Longtime Tesla autopilot and AI leader Andrej Karpathy resigns from the company
It’s not been a good week for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. His week started out with a lawsuit from Twitter asking the billionaire to consummate the $44 billion merger agreement. Then yesterday, longtime Tesla Autopilot Executive Andrej Karpathy announced on Twitter he was leaving the company.
Karpathy’s announcement came just two weeks after Tesla laid off hundreds of autopilot employees and closed its San Mateo, California office. Before the layoff, the autopilot teams at the San Mateo office were tasked with assessing customer vehicle data related to the Autopilot driver-assistance features and performing so-called data labeling.
In a post, Karpathy said that he’s no longer working for the electric vehicle maker. “It’s been a great pleasure to help Tesla towards its goals over the last 5 years and a difficult decision to part ways,” Karpathy wrote on Twitter.
It’s been a great pleasure to help Tesla towards its goals over the last 5 years and a difficult decision to part ways. In that time, Autopilot graduated from lane keeping to city streets and I look forward to seeing the exceptionally strong Autopilot team continue that momentum.
— Andrej Karpathy (@karpathy) July 13, 2022
“In that time, Autopilot graduated from lane keeping to city streets and I look forward to seeing the exceptionally strong Autopilot team continue that momentum. I have no concrete plans for what’s next but look to spend more time revisiting my long-term passions around technical work in AI, open source, and education,” he added.
In response to the tweet, Musk thanked Karpathy for his work at Tesla. “Thanks for everything you have done for Tesla! It has been an honor working with you,” Musk wrote.
Thanks for everything you have done for Tesla! It has been an honor working with you.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 13, 2022
Meanwhile, a team of senior machine learning scientists and engineers reported directly to Karpathy, had taken a months-long sabbatical from Tesla.
According to the information on his personal website, Karpathy held the role of Sr. Director of AI at Tesla, where he led the computer vision team of Tesla Autopilot. His job includes “includes in-house data labeling, neural network training, the science of making it work, and deployment in production running on our custom inference chip.”