Tesla Autopilot Chief Departs, Says ‘Difficult Decision’ to Part Ways

Tesla has just lost its Director of AI at the company that led the Autopilot team, Andrej Karpathy.

On Wednesday afternoon, Karpathy announced, “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.”

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to Karpathy’s announcement by saying, “thanks for everything you have done for Tesla! It has been an honor working with you.”

As for what’s next for Karpathy? He didn’t say he was moving on to another job. “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.”

Back in March, Karpathy said he was going to take a four-month sabbatical, which would mean a return to Tesla in July. But it now appears that will be no longer the case.

For now, Tesla’s Autopilot and its Full Self-Driving add-on, remains in beta, available in the U.S. and Canada. This week, Tesla confirmed it was shutting down its Autopilot office in San Mateo, California.