Tesla’s “primary technical contact” with the feds just left for Waymo

Enlarge / Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2014. (credit: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Tesla executive Matthew Schwall has left the company for rival Waymo, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. According to his LinkedIn page, Schwall has been at Tesla since 2014 and serves as “Tesla’s primary technical contact with safety regulatory agencies such as NHTSA and the NTSB.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sets auto-safety rules, while the National Transportation Safety Board focuses on investigating accidents. Schwall’s departure comes at a time of growing tensions between NTSB and Tesla over an Autopilot-related crash—and shortly after NHTSA downplayed its own 2017 finding that seemed to vindicate Autopilot’s safety record.

This might be a coincidence, according to The Wall Street Journal. “A person familiar with his move said it was unrelated to issues Tesla is dealing with regarding Autopilot,” the Journal reports. But Tesla’s increasingly troubled relationship with federal agencies must have been on Schwall’s mind as he weighed whether to take a new job at Waymo or keep his position at Tesla.

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Source: Ars Technica

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