Tesla executive joins Waymo’s safety team

By Pouyan Broukhim

Alphabet’s Waymo has confirmed reports that Tesla’s Director of Field Performance Engineering Matthew Schwall has joined the autonomous vehicle division.

Schwall has been appointed within Waymo’s safety team that is headed up by Ron Medford, the former Deputy Administrator of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to focus on getting the technology up to speed and ready for deployment.

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This role will not differ too much from Schwall’s position at Tesla where he worked as the firm’s primary technical contact with US safety regulators such as the NHTSA, according to Schwall’s LinkedIn.

Safety within autonomous vehicles has come under increasing scrutiny after a number of reported fatal crashes. Just last month, one man was killed after his Tesla Model X crashed into a motorway barrier, whilst another woman was struck and killed by a Volvo SUV that had been using driverless technologies.

As a result, in his new role, Schwall will be tasked first and foremost with improving the safety of Waymo’s autonomous vehicles, alongside the credibility and reputation of the company.

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