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    Tesla Fired Nearly 200 Employees On Its Autopilot Team

    Jun 29,2022 | Chloe Lacour

    On June 28, local time, Tesla Inc. closed an office in San Mateo, California, causing its self-driving team to lay off hundreds of employees, the largest known to the company. One of the layoffs.

    About 200 workers were fired, people familiar with the matter said. Many employees are data labeling experts, including both regular and contract workers. Affected employees were notified on the 28th, and a team in the San Mateo office was tasked with evaluating customer vehicle data related to self-driving assistance features and performing so-called data tagging.

    In previous job postings, Tesla said that labeled data is "a key ingredient in training powerful deep neural networks that help drive Tesla vehicles autonomously." Such as jobs in Buffalo, New York, and San Mateo Humans spent hours tagging images of cars and the environment in which they travel, including street signs and lanes.

    TechCrunch noted that the layoffs were aimed at people once considered critical to the company's self-driving advanced driver-assistance systems. More notable, meanwhile, are CEO Elon Musk's efforts to further develop self-driving capabilities with a $12,000 optional FSD system.

    TechCrunch said the San Mateo office has 276 employees, and after laying off 195 employees at all levels, the team is down to 81 employees, which sources say will be relocated to another office.

    TechCrunch, citing Glassdoor data, noted that Tesla's jobs such as data annotation specialists or data analysts are paid less in Buffalo than in San Mateo. It's unclear whether Tesla is moving employees to the New York office to reduce costs or as a strategy to qualify for the state's many employment incentives, such as the New York Youth Employment Program Tax Credit or the Disabled Employment Credit.

    The layoffs are part of an effort to slash the salaried workforce as Tesla pulls back from a hiring spree in recent years, according to Bloomberg. The company is now headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has grown to around 100,000 employees worldwide with new factories in Austin and Berlin.

    Earlier this month, Musk said he had a "super bad feeling" about the current state of the economy and said Tesla needed to cut about 10% of its workforce and "suspend all hiring around the world."

    Musk recently explained the layoffs at the Qatar Economic Forum, saying that the layoffs only apply to fixed-wage workers, and hourly workers will not be affected by the layoffs. Tesla's total workforce will be reduced by about 3.5%, a move that will be completed over the next three months. Musk called it a "not too big" change.

    As of the close on June 28, local time, Tesla fell 5% to $697.99 per share.

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