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Google poaches Tesla Autopilot engineer for robotics team

by Todd Haselton | December 1, 2015

The driver's electronic dashboard sits illuminated inside a Tesla Model S automobile, produced by Tesla Motors Inc., at the Paris Motor Show on the final preview day in Paris, France, on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. The show, also known as Mondial de L'Automobile, runs from Oct. 4 through Oct. 19 and showcases 250 automobile manufacturers from 18 countries. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Google must really dig what Tesla has been doing with its Autopilot function. The company recently poached Tesla’s Robert Rose, who previously served as an engineering manager responsible for some of the work on the Autopilot project.

According to his profile, however, he only spent 6 months with Tesla Motors before moving to his new gig as a “software engineer” with Google Robotics. It seems like Tesla’s Autopilot feature probably took much longer than just six months, which leads us to believe he may not have been the entire force behind that project. Smart guy, though – he also worked as the director of flight software at SpaceX. Oddly, Google may not even use his talent for its autonomous driving efforts.

Rose now works on Google Robotics, which is a different division from the one that’s working to build Google’s autonomous vehicles. No doubt there’s probably some intelligence sharing as the two programs likely have some overlap, but perhaps we’ll see some of that autopilot tech applied to other things… like crazy fast robot dogs.

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Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...


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