Indian-origin Tesla techie  Ashok Elluswamy

Indian-origin Tesla techie  Ashok Elluswamy.Photo Courtesy:  Ashok Elluswamy Linkedin Page

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk on Sunday expressed gratitude to Indian-origin techie Ashok Elluswamy, appointed as the first member of the Tesla autopilot team.

“Thanks Ashok! Ashok was the first person to join the Tesla AI/Autopilot team and ultimately rose to lead all AI/Autopilot software,” Musk said on X.

“Without him and our awesome team, we would just be another car company looking for an autonomy supplier that doesn’t exist,” he said.

“Btw, I never suggested that he say anything and I had no idea he wrote this until I saw it 10 mins ago!” the entrepreneur said.

In his note, Ashok said Elon Musk has been the key driver of AI and autonomy at Tesla.

He said: “Back in 2014, Autopilot started on a ridiculously tiny computer that only had ~384 KB of memory and puny compute (didn’t even have native floating point arithmetic). He asked the engineering team to implement lane keeping, lane changing, longitudinal control for vehicles, curvature, etc. Many, even in the team, thought that the request was crazy. Nonetheless, he never gave up and pushed the team to achieve this very difficult goal. In 2015, beyond all odds, Tesla shipped the world’s first Autopilot system. The second closest such product only came to market many years later.”

Praising Elon Musk, he said the entrepreneur is critical for Tesla’s success in AI.

“It is his combination of deep technical understanding, insane perseverance and relentless hard work that have positioned Tesla to be a leader in real-world AI. Elon’s technical intuition to make these important decisions way before others see it is unmatched. If not for Elon’s ambition, Tesla might have dwindled to become just another car company,” he said.

Predicting future, he said fully autonomous cars and useful household robots will be common place.

He said, “Until then, we need Elon Musk to push the frontier, because he sees it already.”

Meanwhile, Musk congratulated Narendra Modi after he was elected the world largest democratic nation’s Prime Minister following the general polls.

“Congratulations Narendra Modi on your victory in the world’s largest democratic elections! Looking forward to my companies doing exciting work in India,” he had posted on X.