Tesla Autopilot chief leaves to join Intel

Tesla's Autopilot VP and chip expert has left the company

"We appreciate his contributions to Tesla and wish him the best", a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement. "I am excited to join the Intel team to build the future of CPUs, GPUs, accelerators and other products for the data-centric computing era".

"Today is Jim Keller's last day at Tesla, where he has overseen low-voltage hardware, Autopilot software and infotainment". Prior to Tesla, he served as corporate vice president and chief cores architect at AMD, where he led the development of the Zen* architecture. At the time of his exit, Lattner and Tesla said he wasn't the "right fit" for the job.

Tesla has now tasked two executives to head Autopilot, the program that provides driver-assistance and autonomous-driving features in its vehicles.

At Tesla, Pete Bannon will serve as Keller's replacement.

Earlier this month, Tesla withdrew as a formal party to the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) probe into the March 23 crash.

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A fatal Model S crash in Florida in 2016 also prompted a federal investigation.

It's early in the growing world of autonomous vehicle technology.

Autopilot made headlines last month after a fatal auto crash in California in which the semi-autonomous driving system was in use. Federal agencies are investigating that incident. Before AMD, Keller worked for Apple and was a key figure in the development of the A4 and A5 chips found in iPhones and iPads. So we have Keller making a processor that had a higher frequency than Intel to beat them, left to join AMD when they made Ryzen which hurt Intel in the multi-threaded race on the consumer side of things, and now back to Intel.

"Jim is one of the most respected microarchitecture design visionaries in the industry, and the latest example of top technical talent to join Intel", said Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel's chief engineering officer and group president of the Technology, Systems Architecture & Client Group (TSCG).

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