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.