Tesla hires an augmented reality/HUD expert for its Autopilot program

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After Tesla unveiled the first Model 3 prototypes last month, the interior design had electric vehicle enthusiasts puzzled. The lack of instrument cluster and the center 15-in display with all the controls raised a few eyebrows. Some speculated that the concept is hinting at the possibility of either a heads-up display (HUD) or fully autonomous technology integration.

Musk commented that it will make more sense after the second part of the Model 3 unveiling, which will happen closer to production in late 2017. Coincidently (or not), we now learn that Tesla recently hired an augmented reality/HUD expert from SKULLY.

Until last week, Milan Kovac was Principal Engineer at SKULLY, the maker of the first augmented reality motorcycle helmet equipped with a built-in HUD – see video below.

Before working at SKULLY, Kovac worked on the implementation of several augmented reality, 3D gesture-control and HUD technologies for different applications – some of which for the automotive industry.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he joined Tesla as “Staff Software Engineer” on the Autopilot program.

To be fair, Kovac also says that he has an interest in machine learning and he completed Stanford’s popular online course on the subject. Considering Tesla has been acquiring a lot of machine learning talent in the past few months, Kovac’s involvement with the Autopilot program might have more to do with machine learning than real-time heads-up display technology.

Here’s a quick video of SKULLY’s helmet:


Earlier this week, we reported on Tesla hiring Porsche’s lead designer for the Mission E’s interior. Porsche’s upcoming all-electric sedan also features some interesting display technology called “holographic display”.

The Autopilot is “super high priority” for Tesla. The automaker recently poached a team of high-profile chip architects and executives from AMD to develop the next generation Autopilot.


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  1. Nøderak - 7 years ago

    Everyone knows that the display is going to look more seamless. Remember the MX from 2012 and 2013? It’s going to be fixed. Also, The new Prius kind of has the center gauges moved to the right of the driver.

  2. Steve Grenier - 7 years ago

    I’m very eager to see the final Model 3 design. I think it’s highly likely we will get some kind of HUD for instrument controls and possibly navigation. If shipping is planned for late 2017, I suppose they’ll have the next event late summer early fall 2017, few months before?

  3. Bubba2000 - 7 years ago

    I hope Tesla display and controls do not deviate from the current standards radically. They could add augmented HUD. This is a mass market car and lot of folks want familiarity. I would like to see some kind of display in dash front and not having to take my eyes from the road to look at the 15″ display. Same with steering wheel controls. Need to be cost effective and easy to manufacture.

    One of the advantages of the Model S is that it looked like an ICE car in terms of the controls and display in front. Plus it did not look like a geek car on the outside.


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