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Elon Musk praises Ashok Elluswamy for his role in Tesla’s AI success

NRI PULSE STAFF REPORT

San Francisco, June 9, 2024: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, took to social media to praise Ashok Elluswamy, the head of AI and Autopilot at Tesla, for his significant contributions to the company’s success in AI and autonomous driving technologies. Musk’s commendation came in response to a detailed post by Elluswamy, which highlighted Musk’s visionary leadership and relentless drive in advancing Tesla’s technological frontiers.

Elluswamy, an Indian American who has been with Tesla since the inception of its AI/Autopilot team, detailed several milestones in Tesla’s journey, emphasizing Musk’s pivotal role. He recounted how, in 2014, the Autopilot project began with limited computing resources, yet Musk insisted on ambitious goals such as lane keeping and vehicle control. Despite skepticism from within the team, these features were successfully implemented, leading to the launch of the world’s first Autopilot system in 2015.

By 2016, Tesla decided to develop all computer vision capabilities in-house, a move many considered risky. However, under Musk’s leadership, the team achieved this feat in just eleven months, establishing Tesla as a formidable player in AI. Elluswamy also noted the development of Tesla’s custom silicon for neural networks, which remains competitive against the latest technologies, showcasing Musk’s foresight in combining powerful AI hardware with software.

In response, Musk expressed his gratitude and acknowledged Elluswamy’s crucial role in Tesla’s AI and Autopilot advancements. Musk posted, “Thanks Ashok! Ashok was the first person to join the Tesla AI/Autopilot team and ultimately rose to lead all AI/Autopilot software. Without him and our awesome team, we would just be another car company looking for an autonomy supplier that doesn’t exist. Btw, I never suggested that he say anything and I had no idea he wrote this until I saw it 10 mins ago!”

Elluswamy’s follow-up tweet clarified that his post was a personal note meant to emphasize Musk’s importance to Tesla, especially in light of an upcoming shareholder vote. He stressed that his views were genuine and reflected his true belief in Musk’s contributions.

Elluswamy, born and raised in Chennai, India, pursued his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Anna University. He furthered his education with a Master’s in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, where he specialized in autonomous vehicles and machine learning.

Elluswamy joined Tesla in 2014 as the first member of the AI/Autopilot team and has since risen to lead the entire AI/Autopilot software division. His work has been instrumental in advancing Tesla’s autonomous driving capabilities, making significant contributions to the development of Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) systems.

Cover photo credit: Ashok Elluswamy’s LinkedIn profile.

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