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Tesla names former MIT researcher and Model X manager new ‘Director of Autopilot Programs’


Electrek has learned that Tesla recently named its Model X program manager and former MIT researcher Sterling Anderson new ‘Director of Autopilot Programs’.

He is joining legendary microprocessor engineer Jim Keller, who has recently been hired to lead the Autopilot Hardware Engineering team, in Tesla’s Autopilot leadership.

The engineer led the Model X effort from its first Beta prototype through its recent launch and early production ramp up.

Anderson briefly described his role as Model X program manager in his LinkedIn profile:

“Responsible to Elon Musk for the cost, quality, schedule and launch of the Model X: the safest, quickest, most advanced sport utility vehicle ever built.”

Some might be worried about the several delays that the Model X suffered before finally launching late last year, but to Anderson’s defense, he joined Tesla (2014) after the Model X’s release had already been pushed twice. Based on Tesla’s official Model X timeline, the all-electric SUV’s launch was only delayed by one quarter under Anderson – if you consider the few vehicles delivered during the late September unveiling an official launch.

Anderson’s new role is arguably more fitting to his own background considering he worked for years at the MIT Robotic Mobility Group developing automated driving systems. He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the MIT and he is listed has an inventor on several patents related to autonomous driving.

Here’s a very interesting TEDx talk he gave about autonomous driving last year:

Keller and Anderson will be leading an impressive and growing team of engineers in making the next generation Autopilot and ultimately, a fully autonomous vehicle, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk says should be ready in about 2 years.

For more information about the Autopilot team, you can read our profile published this morning: A look at the team of “hardcore” engineers building Tesla’s Autopilot and the exodus that followed its release

Featured Image: Computer vision of Tesla’s autonomous driving partner Mobileye.

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