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Tesla’s Lead Autopilot Engineer Is Leaving For Another Self-Driving Startup

Tesla is one of the leaders in the self-driving environment. According to the people close to the matter, Zeljko Popovic a leader in the Autopilot team is leaving the team for another self-driving company named Embark. The company is one of the leading company in the self-driving truck domain.

The departure of the leader who was the strong arm for the company is leaving at a critical time when robo-taxis are capable of launch in the year 2020. Robo-taxis would be capable of fully self-driving without any human intervention. Tesla says it also plans to start the production of its electric semi trucks by the year 2020.

Zeljko Popovic ran the perception team for the Tesla’s Autopilots and is also responsible for the development of the highly accurate US maps and created a “sensor fusion system” that compiles the data from the cameras, radars, and ultrasonic sensors that cars employ. The fusion system enables Tesla to see the other cars on the road.

In the recent Tesla’s shareholder meeting, Mr. Elon Musk said that it still needs tweaks in the self-driving system. Embark was founded in 2015. It integrates the self-driving system into trucks and doesn’t build trucks form the scratch. Recently, the company has 60 employees. The trucks of the company are used by the Amazon for the cargo trip on the highways of California.

Tesla said that this quarter the company will bridge the gap between demand and production. “Sales have far exceeded production, and production has been pretty good,” Musk said. “So, we’re actually doing well, and we have a decent shot at a record quarter on every level,” he added, echoing a point he made in a recently-leaked all-staff email. “If not, it’s going to be very close.”

The electric company also talked about the pickup truck. He didn’t reveal any images of the truck but said that it will be more functional then Ford F-150 and a better sports car than Porsche 911. “We’re trying to create something new and it’s, it’s not just basically a copy of the form factor of everything else,” he said. “But you still want it to be great. It’s very hard. This is a very hard thing.”


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Simon Hemelryk
An innovative and experienced editor and content producer of highly successful, nationally and internationally covered, agenda-setting, print and online material for Reader's Digest, national newspapers, Saga and more. Accomplished team manager and writer. Created and produced numerous brand, PR and revenue-boosting articles, campaigns, advertorials, supplements and guides.