Tesla Replaces Chief of Self-Driving Software

Tesla Inc. TSLA +0.14% has parted ways with another senior leader on its self-driving technology team, adding more turmoil to a program that is under pressure to meet the grand ambitions of Chief Executive Elon Musk.
The Silicon Valley electric-car maker on Tuesday said Chris Lattner, the vice president of Autopilot software, has left the company about six months after Tesla hired him away from Apple Inc.
“Chris just wasn’t the right fit for Tesla, and we’ve decided to make a change,” Tesla said Tuesday.
Mr. Lattner followed Tesla’s statement with a posting on Twitter: “Turns out that Tesla isn’t a good fit for me after all. I’m interested to hear about interesting roles for a seasoned engineering leader!”
Mr. Lattner didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The program, under pressure from Mr. Musk to demonstrate a Tesla vehicle can drive itself by year’s end, has grappled with an exodus of talent and questions about the safety of the technology. Tesla’s Autopilot system, which can assist drivers with steering, breaking and changing lanes, sparked a safety debate after a Tesla driver in Florida died in a crash a year ago while using the semiautonomous system.
U.S. regulators closed their investigation of the crash in January by concluding Autopilot didn’t contain a safety defect.
Mr. Lattner’s hiring in January coincided with the departure of Autopilot director Sterling Anderson, a leader in developing the system. Tesla sued Mr. Anderson over his efforts to create a competing startup; the lawsuit was settled in April.
In March, David Nistér left his job as the vice president of Autopilot vision for chip maker Nvidia Corp.
On Tuesday, Tesla said it had elevated Jim Keller, vice president of Autopilot hardware, to also oversee Autopilot software. Mr. Keller joined Tesla in 2016 from chip makerAdvanced Micro Devices Inc.
Fuente: The Wall Street Journal