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Tesla Autopilot Director was Chosen Through Twitter; Here’s Ashok Elluswamy’s Journey

A Twitter post from Elon Musk turned software engineer Ashok Elluswamy’s life upside down, it was revealed recently. Indian origin Ashok Elluswamy became the first director of Autopilot Software at Tesla, the electronic vehicle making company owned by celebrity billionaire Musk who is known for his knack to take major decisions on social media platforms. In a similar incident, Elluswamy was recruited by the Tesla CEO though a Twitter post which said that Tesla was starting an autopilot team. The recent revelation from Elon Musk became news in no time and took the Indian origin engineer to the limelight overnight.

Musk, who has been using social media to recruit people, on December 29 disclosed that Indian-origin Ashok Elluswamy was the first employee to be hired for his electric vehicle company’s Autopilot team.

“Ashok was the first person recruited from my tweet saying that Tesla is starting an Autopilot team,” Musk said in a tweet in reply to a video of his interview.

He said that Ashok is actually the head of Autopilot engineering.

“Ashok is actually the head of Autopilot engineering. Andrej is director of AI; People often give me too much credit & give Andrej too much credit. The Tesla Autopilot AI team is extremely talented. Some of the smartest people in the world,” he said.

Who is Ashok Elluswamy?

Ashok Elluswamy, as revealed by Musk in his video interview, is the director of Autopilot Software at Tesla. He has been associated with the company for eight years.

“Tesla cars come standard with advanced hardware capable of providing Autopilot features, and full self-driving capabilities—through software updates designed to improve functionality over time,” the company says in its website.

“Tesla’s Autopilot AI team drives the future of autonomy of current and new generations of vehicles. Learn about the team and apply to help accelerate the world with full self-driving,” it also adds.

Ashok Elluswamy was chosen to lead a team when it was in its early stages at around 2015, barely starting out. Over the years, Tesla’s autopilot cars have become a luxury, showing the future to the world.

How did Ashok Elluswamy Land this Role?

Ashok Elluswamy’s stint with Tesla began eight years ago. Back then, he joined the company as a software engineer for its autopilot division in January 2014. Two years later, in June 2016, he was promoted to the senior software engineer role in the same division. A little over a year after this, in September 2017, Ashok Elluswamy went on to become the senior staff software engineer at the company and held the post until April 2019. After that, he got promoted to the role of the director of the autopilot team at Tesla.

As per his LinkedIn profile, as the head of the autopilot team at Tesla, Elluswamy is responsible for managing the autonomy software team for the autopilot division. The team engages in the creation of large-scale automatic ground truth pipelines to train neural networks with massive amounts of diverse, high-quality data among others.

What did Ashok Elluswamy do Before He Joined Tesla?

Before joining Tesla, Elluswamy was associated with Volkswagen Electronic Research Lab and WABCO Vehicle Control System.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the College of Engineering Guindy, Chennai and a Master’s degree in Robotics System Development from Carnegie Mellon University.

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