Ashok Kumar Elluswamy is an Indian-origin software engineer. He has been associated with Tesla for over eight years (as of 2021). Ashok was the first person to be hired for the Autopilot team of the US-based electric vehicle energy company Tesla.
Ashok attended The College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), Chennai, to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication (2005-2009). He also holds a master’s degree in Robotics System Development from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2012-2013).
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Not much is known about his parents & siblings.
Wife & Children
Ashok is married and has a daughter.
Ashok started his career in 2010 as a Software Engineer at WABCO Vehicle Control Systems (an American provider of electronic braking, stability, suspension, and transmission automation systems for heavy-duty commercial vehicles) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. At WABCO, he worked on brake actuation modules to establish real-time performance guarantees of actuators. Ashok also worked on the development and validation of onboard and offboard diagnostics software for the vehicle’s Electronic Control Unit. He worked there till 2012 and then joined Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab, Belmont, California, as a Research Intern.
In 2014, Elluswamy joined the US-based electric vehicle energy company ‘Tesla’ as a software engineer for its Autopilot division. In June 2016, he was promoted to the position of Senior Software Engineer in the company. Subsequently, he rose up the ranks to become Senior Staff Software Engineer. In 2019, Ashok was appointed as the Director of Tesla’s Autopilot division. As a Director of Autopilot, Ashok supervises the autonomy software team and the creation of large-scale automatic ground truth pipelines to train neural networks with massive amounts of diverse, high-quality data. Elluswamy also takes care of the development of accurate and detailed geometric and semantic understanding of the world using the best of both machine-learned and engineered models.
- Ashok is well-versed in four languages- Hindi, English, Tamil, and Telugu.
- John Dolan, Elluswamy’s teacher at Carnegie Mellon University, while praising Ashok on his LinkedIn account wrote,
Ashok was one of my top students during 2012-13 in the Master’s in Robotic Systems Development Project Course at Carnegie Mellon University. He showed excellent initiative in learning a wide variety of topics useful to his explosive ordnance disposal robot project, notably stereo vision, motion planning, and various software packages needed for implementation. Ashok learns continuously and has high energy and motivation.”
- In 2021, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla, through a tweet disclosed that Ashok was the first employee to be hired for his electric vehicle company’s Autopilot team. He said,
I tweeted that Tesla is about to launch an autopilot team. Through that tweet, Ashok was the first to be selected in the autopilot team.”
He further said,
Ashok is actually the head of Autopilot engineering.”
- As of 2021, he is residing in San Francisco Bay Area, California.
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