Ex-Tesla Director Of Engineering Now Waymo's Hardware Head

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Satish Jeyachandran, former Director of Hardware Engineering at Tesla Motors, joined Alphabet's Waymo as Head of Hardware last month, following a short break from work. Jeyachandran shared the news on LinkedIn earlier this week, praising Waymo's unique identity that saw it blend hardware and software divisions into a single entity dedicated to commercializing this emerging technology. The 38-year-old was with Tesla for almost seven years before leaving the Palo Alto, California-based company in March and now looking to resume his pursuit of self-driving solutions with another Silicon Valley tech giant.

Jeyachandran's responsibilities will include overseeing all of Waymo's hardware-related endeavors while simultaneously facilitating the process of integrating the company's software into its vehicles, presumably through close collaboration with the firm's software unit. The Western Michigan University graduate said that autonomous driving technology can "save millions of lives," indicating he's eager to continue working in the field. This high-profile appointment likely isn't the last such hire that Alphabet's self-driving vehicle unit is planning to make by the end of the year, with the firm recently being extremely active in the job market and attracting new experts as its ambitions to commercialize autonomous cars keep growing. Waymo's technology has been advancing in a relatively rapid manner since the turn of the year and the company is quickly moving forward in an effort to gain a foothold in the emerging self-driving segment that most industry watchers expect to be worth trillions of dollars in the coming decades.

Waymo Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik announced Jeyachandran's arrival in a separate post on LinkedIn published on Thursday, stating that the new hire is bound to help the firm's development efforts and consequently its plans to commercialize self-driving solutions in the near future. Waymo is far from being the only U.S. tech giant looking to bring autonomous vehicles to the market but may end up being the first one to succeed in that endeavor, some industry watchers speculate. The company recently sued one of its largest rivals — Uber — over alleged theft of trade secrets pertaining to LiDAR designs, and could have a realistic chance of dealing a major blow to Uber's self-driving endeavors.

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