In October 2016, Elon Musk announced to the world that all new Tesla vehicles would include hardware that made them fully self-driving -- in that, after a simple update, every car would be completely capable of driving itself.

As it turns out, Tesla's engineers hadn't been told about the news prior to Musk's big announcement. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, the team working on Tesla's Autopilot feature felt uneasy about marketing the technology as "fully autonomous." They felt they didn't yet have a product that could "safely and reliably control a car without human intervention."

Musk's fervent vision of a driverless world repeatedly clashed with his team's view on the progress of the technology. The dispute led Sterling Anderson, then Autopilot director, to resign just two months after the October announcement. Since his departure, at least 10 other engineers and four top managers -- including Chris Lattner, who had been selected as Anderson's replacement and lasted just six months on the job -- have also left.

This isn't the first time dissent among Tesla engineers has been reported. In July 2016, after a fatal crash killed a driver using the Autopilot function, CNN reported that several employees tried to warn Musk about the reliability of the technology, and that it wasn't ready to be deployed to consumers.

Published on: Aug 25, 2017