Roughly 14 months ago, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shared its desire of joining the autonomous-driving race and show Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google how to actually make an automated vehicle. Offering various autonomous driving features, Tesla Autopilot lacked a director to run the futuristic program up till now.
Electrek reported, earlier on Monday, that the electric vehicle (EV) maker has finally appointed a new “Director of Autopilot Program” from within the company. Former researcher at MIT and senior program (product) manager of Tesla Model X, Sterling Anderson, has been promoted to head the Autopilot program.
After working on the Model X’s quality, schedule, cost, launch, and early production for two years, Mr. Anderson’s LinkedIn profile shows that he took the new role this year and will be responsible for “accelerating the world’s transition to safe, sustainable, intelligent transportation.”
Since the director has hefty work experience of developing self-driving systems at the MIT Robotic Mobility Group, the new role could be more relevant for him and fruitful for Tesla. Apart from having a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, he also has several patents under his name related to autonomous driving technology.
Since the Model X was delayed many times ahead of its launch in 2015, some investors might be concerned over Mr. Anderson’s appointment; however, he became part of Tesla team in 2014. The launch of the sports utility vehicle (SUV) was delayed twice before his arrival at the company. Under the new Autopilot director, the car was merely delayed by a quarter.
Last month, Tesla hired infamous microprocessor engineer, Jim Keller, as the head of the Autopilot Hardware Engineering. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Keller will be joining hands to roll out superior autonomous features and will be leading growing and innovative engineers under the Tesla Autopilot program. Hopefully, both will remain at Tesla when it ultimately launches a fully-automated Tesla car in the coming two years, as stated by CEO Elon Musk.
Currently, the Autopilot program enables Model S and Model X owners around the world to auto-steer, change lanes, perform parallel and perpendicular parking, and summon vehicles on their private properties. We can hope for more exciting upcoming till Tesla becomes fully-autonomous.