Andrej Karpathy, the Director of Artificial Intelligence at Tesla, is leaving the company. 

Karpathy resigned as the lead of Tesla’s Autopilot program, effective July 13th, 2022.

Karpathy joined Tesla in June 2017 after being hired by the electric vehicle manufacturer due to his cutting-edge work in Computer Vision. Upon his employment at Tesla, Karpathy quickly advanced through the company’s ranks to lead Tesla’s Computer Vision Team, which aimed to build the next generation of self-driving technologies for Tesla’s Autopilot program.

According to the Tesla website, the company’s Autopilot program aims to introduce new features and improvements to existing functionality to make the task of driving cars safer and more capable. Tesla’s auto-pilot program is part of its autonomous vehicle initiative that enables Tesla cars to steer,  accelerate, and automate within their lane using advanced object detection, pattern recognition and computer vision. Tesla’s Autopilot program aims to be semi-automated while under the car driver’s semi-supervision.

In a tweet posted on Twitter, Karpathy said, “It’s been a great pleasure to help Tesla towards its goals over the last five years and a difficult decision to part ways.”

Karpathy’s departure is critical as Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, shared his vision to roll out self-driving capability across Tesla cars after missing targets for self-driving capabilities in previous instances.

Before Karpathy’s resignation,  Tesla announced it was reducing its workforce by 10% and laying off over 200 employees in the Palo Alto office, where most of the company’s Tesla Autopilot staff is headquartered.

Karpathy’s departure and the layoff at Tesla should not come as a surprise as the company has indicated earlier that it’s restructuring its workforce and laying off 3.5% of its staff under-performers and 10% of its salaried employees.

Besides Karpathy, Tesla’s Senior Director of DEI, Kristen Kavanaugh, also resigned last month.

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