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HomeNewsMusk praises Indian-origin scientist for Tesla's auto-pilot achievements

Musk praises Indian-origin scientist for Tesla’s auto-pilot achievements


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Elon Musk has publicly acknowledged the contributions of Ashok Elluswamy, an Indian-origin engineer and the first person hired for Tesla’s Autopilot team. Musk reshared a post by Elluswamy on X, expressing gratitude for his efforts in developing Tesla’s Autopilot technology.

Elluswamy had shared his journey, noting Musk’s crucial role in driving AI and autonomy at Tesla. He praised Musk for continually pushing the team to achieve remarkable feats.

Reflecting on the initial Tesla days, he said, “back in 2014, Autopilot started on a ridiculously tiny computer that only had ~384 KB of memory and puny compute (didn’t even have native floating point arithmetic). He asked the engineering team to implement lane keeping, lane changing, longitudinal control for vehicles, curvature, etc. Many, even in the team, thought that the request was crazy. Nonetheless, he never gave up and pushed the team to achieve this very difficult goal. In 2015, beyond all odds, Tesla shipped the world’s first Autopilot system. The second closest such product only came to market many years later.”

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By 2016, Tesla had decided to develop all the computer vision required for Autopilot in-house, a move considered risky by many. “In 2016, Tesla started doing all of the computer vision required for Autopilot in-house instead of depending on external vendors. Many people thought it was insane to bet the product on developing the vision system from scratch within a few months, which had taken other companies a decade or more. Yet, we achieved this target within eleven months. This was a strategically important move that started the development of a strong AI team at Tesla,” states Elluswamy’s article.

Elluswamy is Director of Autopilot Software at Tesla, and is a robotics engineer with expertise in computer vision and perception through planning and control. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from a college in Chennai, in the southern state of India, Tamil Nadu.

He pursued robotics systems development studies at Carnegie Mellon University in the US. Prior to joining Tesla, he held positions at WABCO Vehicle Control Systems and Volkswagen. He settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.


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