After 5 years of leading the artificial intelligence team at Tesla, Andrej Karpathy is now leaving the company, he announced in a tweet yesterday. Andrej was one of the key persons in driving Tesla’s Autopilot Full Self-Driving (FSD) program ahead using cutting-edge AI.
Andrej left for a 4-month sabbatical back in March to unwind from all the hard work he did at Tesla for the last 5 years. He was positive that he will return back to his job at Tesla at the end of his vacation.
But some rumors turned out to be true that his sabbatical will end up in leaving the automaker.
“It’s been a great pleasure to help Tesla towards its goals over the last 5 years and a difficult decision to part ways,” Andrej posted on Twitter. “In that time, Autopilot graduated from lane keeping to city streets and I look forward to seeing the exceptionally strong Autopilot team continue that momentum,” he further elaborated on his contributions to Tesla’s self-driving program.
A follow-up tweet by Andrej clarifies that he does not plan to take on another job immediately after leaving Tesla, “I have no concrete plans for what’s next,” he said.
Andrej’s Twitter and LinkedIn profile both still show him as “Director of Artificial Intelligence at Tesla”.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also wrote a farewell note in response to Andrej’s tweet, “Thanks for everything you have done for Tesla! It has been an honor working with you,” he said.
Through the years, Musk has held high regard for Andrej Karpathy and his work with neural nets and deep learning. Karpathy holds a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University, the same institution where Musk was enrolled in PhD Physics in the past but dropped out to pursue his goals in the internet industry.
Last year at the Tesla AI Day, Andrej Karpathy was the one leading the presentation along with Elon Musk at the much-anticipated event.
This year’s AI Day will be held on 19th August 2022 as Elon Musk had announced earlier in May. It will be interesting to see how the automaker fills the gap that Andrej has left behind as he is one of the brightest in AI and deep learning today.
The Impact of Andrej Karpathy Leaving Tesla
In the past few months, FSD Beta updates have been slower than they used to be (1 or 2 updates a month). The last FSD Beta update was version 10.12 which rolled out in May.
Some analysts think that the impact of Andrej’s leaving Tesla on the company’s share price will be minimal as investors don’t take the Full Self-Driving (FSD) program as a major factor when investing in Tesla (TSLA).
TSLA’s share price has already dropped around 2% this morning as of this writing. But there are other factors like the Twitter lawsuit affecting Elon Musk and ultimately Tesla.
Let’s go over some tweets from analysts and investors to grab what they think how Andrej Karpathy’s departure will affect Tesla.
- FSD Beta goes wide release in North America, Tesla owners rush to buy the monthly subscription to get onboard
- Tesla rolls out FSD Beta 10.69.3.1, V11 release pushed to December (test videos)
- FSD Beta V11 partial release notes mention single stack for highways only, Smart Summon to come next month, says Musk
- Tesla starts rollout of FSD Beta V11 (2022.40.5), confirms Elon Musk — and it most probably is single stack
- Tesla releases FSD Beta 10.69.3 (2022.36.15) with a long list of improvements (release notes, testing videos)
- In preparation for the FSD wide release, Tesla starts free camera upgrades for 2016 & 2017 Model S, 3, X