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Google Poaches Self-Driving Car Specialist From Tesla

December 1, 2015, 1:55 AM UTC
Kirsten Korosec

Google recently hired a Tesla engineer responsible for the electric car company’s autopilot technology, according to a report Monday by tech news website 9to5Google.

Robert Rose helped Tesla (TSLA) develop its autopilot service that is supposed to improve over time as drivers use it. Rose will now be part of Google’s (GOOG) robotics department, according to his LinkedIn page. He worked at Tesla for six months and spent several years working at aerospace company SpaceX, led by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

As Fortune reported, Tesla’s autopilot technology uses machine-learning algorithms that analyze vehicle and sensor data to improve its performance. Musk pitched the technology last month as being different from what’s available from competing automobile makers.

“The whole Tesla fleet operates as a network,” he said. “When one car learns something, they all learn it. That is beyond what other car companies are doing.”

Google has been working on similar computer-based driving assistance technologies, so it makes sense that it would want someone with Rose’s pedigree. A report based on an unnamed source by news site Business Insider said that Rose would not work on Google’s car projects without saying what exactly he will do.

In early November, Tesla hired Google’s former vice president of finance, Jason Wheeler, to become the company’s new chief financial officer.

Google declined to comment on the new hire. Fortune reached out to Tesla for comment and will update this post if they respond.

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