Google-self-driving-car-Schmidt-Page-Brin-01

Tesla’s Autopilot Engineering Manager Joins Google Robotics

November 30, 2015 - Written By Muni Perez

Other than Android and Search, Google is involved in a wide range of activities and businesses, all of them devoted to technology, of course. One topic that has been getting a good amount of attention lately is the self-driving car project by Google, which aims to create commercially viable driverless cars in the very near future. Although most drivers in the world are not ready to give up their driving skills just yet, several car companies are working on it too. One big name out there is Tesla Motors, from Elon Musk, which also runs SpaceX and other tip-of-the-spear technology companies. Tesla is responsible for manufacturing that gorgeous electric luxury sports car, the Model S, which makes any tech savvy person want it really bad. Recently, the company unveiled their Autopilot feature that allows Tesla cars to drive autonomously even on busy streets in New York. This feature is really interesting and it seems to have gotten Google’s attention for the people behind it. Reportedly, the search giant has hired Robert Rose, the former Autopilot Engineering Manager from Tesla. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has left Tesla in October and has joined Google in November.

Previously, Rose worked to another Elon Musk venture, Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, as Director of Flight Software, which indicates that he has some good experience in integrating control software with moving machines. The engineer has his new position listed as Software Engineer for Google Robotics, and although we don’t know yet on what he is working on at the company, the immediate conclusion would be that he has been allocated to Google’s self-driving car project. However, the company has other ventures that involve interactions between a computer and the real world. Google owns Boston Dynamics, a company that develops advanced robots, and his expertise may be in use there. Another interesting project from Google is Project Wing, which aims to create delivery drones for dropping products quickly, and they are likely to be automated as well.

There may or may not be a connection, but interestingly enough, Tesla has also hired an engineer from Google at the same time. Lang Heng is a Stanford graduate with a PhD. in Electrical Engineering and was working on the Street View team from Google Maps for about a year and a half, when Tesla hired him for the same Autopilot team earlier in November. Rose seems to be close to Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, which leaves it up to the imagination about what is going on over there.