Tesla lays off hundreds of members of their Autopilot data labelling team

Tesla laid off hundreds of employees on its Autopilot team today that was based in Silicon Valley.

According to a reports from Bloomberg, the laid off staff were data labelling and annotation specialists and included both salaries and contract workers.

As per the report, the team that saw the cuts was around 350 employees, and around 200 of them were laid off. The other 150 transferred to a nearby Tesla facility and will continue with the company. The total number of labellers is around 1,500 based on the latest count, which came from Director of AI Andrej Karpathy last year.

Drive Tesla has been able to confirm the layoffs, which according to our sources was actually closer to 300 employees.

Given the above number, these cuts are in line with the 10 per cent reduction in salaried headcount that Elon Musk noted earlier this month.

With a three-month deadline, we can expect Tesla to continue to cut where it can to trim the company and make it more efficient.

Tesla was already investing in auto labelling technology, and these cuts make sense if automation can replace an entire team.

Tesla uses labelling to train their powerful Deep Neural Networks, which are critical to Full Self-Driving and Autopilot success. However, from our understanding, these cuts are not related to Project Dojo.

Source: Bloomberg

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