There has been a lot of changes in Tesla’s Autopilot leadership over the past few months and most of it can be linked back to former Autopilot program director Sterling Anderson leaving to form his own startup and Chris Lattner taking over the top role in the program, which happened in December 2016 and January 2017 respectively.
A few more senior Autopilot team members have since left, including the head of Tesla Vision, and we now learn that one of them is now leading an autonomous driving effort for Audi.
Alexandre Haag, who was a senior program manager of the Autopilot team, left Tesla around the same time as Anderson to “help Vision and Architecture teams to focus and hit milestones” at a stealth startup.
He has since updated his LinkedIn profile – first spotted by The Information – and he is now listing a new role as Chief Technology Officer of Autonomous Intelligent Driving, a new subsidiary wholly owned by Audi, a VW brand.
Haag listed under his position:
“Build and lead a talented and passionate team to develop and ship a full software stack for self-driving cars.”
Only two other people have disclosed working for the new subsidiary. Karlheinz Wurm, a long-time executive for Microsoft’s Skype, is now CEO of the startup and Matthias Uttendorfer, a former Audi engineer, has now been assigned to lead UI at the startup.
The move appears to be the German automaker’s latest effort to bring autonomous driving technology to market. Last year, Audi said that it aims to offer its first self-driving cars in 2020 and at CES in January, it partnered with Nvidia, the supplier of the computer powering Tesla’s Autopilot, to accelerate that effort.