Tesla lays off nearly 200 Autopilot employees, closes San Mateo office – Meczyki.Net

Tesla has laid off nearly 200 employees and closed the San Mateo, Calif. office where they worked, to the data annotation team that worked on Autopilot. layoff, First reported by BloombergSources who spoke to Meczyki.Net on condition of anonymity confirmed the news.

The cuts come amid a widespread job shortage at Tesla. However, these layoffs once targeted personnel. deemed important For efforts to further develop automated driving functions through the company’s Autopilot advanced driver assistance system and more specifically through a $12,000 optional FSD system by CEO Elon Musk.

To date, Tesla had hundreds of data annotation employees working on the Autopilot team in San Mateo and Buffalo, New York. The San Mateo office numbered 276, and after a layoff of 195 employees of all ranks — supervisors, labelers and data analysts — the team is left with 81 employees, which sources say will be moved to another office.

According to one source, most workers were in moderately low-skilled, low-paying jobs, such as Autopilot data labeling, which involves determining whether Tesla’s algorithm identified an object well or poorly.

This team layoff was rumored to be on the table for months, sources said, and that the job would be offloaded to Buffalo.

Based on data from Glassdoor, jobs like data annotation specialist or data analyst at Tesla pay less in Buffalo than in San Mateo. It’s not clear whether Tesla is moving employees to the New York office to reduce costs or as a strategy to become eligible. New York State’s Many Job IncentivesSuch as the New York Youth Jobs Program tax credit or the Credit for Employment of Persons with Disabilities.

That said, it probably won’t be a 1:1 replacement in Buffalo, where sources say Tesla will probably just submerge the current team, “as is Tesla’s way. Take action now, suffer the consequences later.” “

If Tesla isn’t actually going to hire more data labelers and others to work on Autopilot — which the company says is a key component to training deep neural networks that can run full self-driving beta software. could help improve – so what if that technology? Perhaps Tesla will change course on its vision-only approach to autonomy and begin introducing lidar and radar into its vehicles.

layoff or termination?

While sources have confirmed that the 195 members of the Autopilot team who were let go on Tuesday were indeed laid off, they also say that most of the “layoffs” that began in late May were actually based on performance. But it was over.

Terminating employees on the basis of performance gives a company the opportunity to avoid certain legal requirements such as: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (Warning) ActWhich helps in ensuring advance notice in cases of eligible plant closures and mass layoffs.

Indeed, last week, two former Tesla employees filed suit against the automaker, alleging that the company did not give the 60 days advance notice required by federal law during its recent round of layoffs.

A class action lawsuit is also being pursued against Tesla, which sources say is recruiting more and more workers every day.

Tesla stock is down 5% in after-hours trading Tuesday.