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Tesla lays off nearly 200 Autopilot workers, shutters San Mateo office

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Tesla has gutted the data annotation team working on Autopilot, laying off nearly 200 employees and shutting down the San Mateo, California office where they worked. The layoffs, first reported by Bloomberg, have been confirmed by sources who talked to TechCrunch on condition of anonymity.
The cuts come amid a broader reduction of jobs at Tesla. However, these layoffs targeted personnel once deemed critical to the company’s Autopilot advanced driver assistance system and more notably efforts by CEO Elon Musk to further develop automated driving functions through the $12,000 optional FSD system.
Until today, Tesla had hundreds of data annotation employees working on the Autopilot team in San Mateo and Buffalo, New York. The San Mateo office had a headcount of 276, and after laying off 195 staffers from all ranks — supervisors, labelers and data analysts — the team is left with 81 workers, who sources say will be relocated to another office.
Most of the workers were in moderately low-skilled, low-wage jobs, such as Autopilot data labeling, which involves …

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