New Tesla job ad in Germany suggests we will transition from Autopilot to Full self-driving

Tesla is a company of close to 100,000 employees and as they ready two new factories, the careers page is full of new positions at the company. A new position titled ‘Software Engineer in Test, Autopilot – Germany‘ was noticed by @alex_avoigt and is different from most.

The autopilot team at Tesla is responsible for a wide range of functionality in the cars, namely the base (included) Autopilot, as well as the development of features in their Full Self-Driving Package, including Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change, Smart Summon, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control, as well as the last item on the list, currently in Beta, Autosteer on City Streets.

In the detail of the position description, under Responsibilities, it lists that the Software Engineer in Test, would ‘Help transition Tesla’s Autopilot to full self-driving by developing & validating features including Autosteer, Navigate on Autopilot, Smart Summon, and more.’

After covering Tesla and the progress of their autonomous efforts for years, I’ve never once heard it described as a transition before.

The base Autopilot functionality of Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering, had been included as a base, and the additional functionality provided by FSD, was delivered optionally if you want it and if you’re prepared to pay up for it (currently A$10,100 or US$14,000 as US owners have access to Beta features).

A transition from AP to FSD, suggests a different future, where cars would just come with FSD, once the functionality is complete. This would align with Elon Musk’s comments around the additional value a driverless car would deliver and at that point, if Tesla were to sell a capable car without the feature, they’d certainly be leaving money on the table.

Make no mistake about it, this approach, would not please those who have aspirations to buy their first Tesla, or add future vehicles to their garage.

At this stage, it’s just a job description, but certainly an interesting choice of language to use, if a transition from AP to FSD isn’t the intent.

The details of the job description are below:

Tesla continues to grow across EMEA and we expect our short term plans to include hiring for this position. If you would like to be considered, please feel free to apply here. We do not yet have a definite timeline, but this is a way to get a head start on the application process. We appreciate your interest and will review applications once the team has a need. 

Tesla is accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Revolutionary strategies and products were developed within a few years and successfully launched on a large scale. This is only possible through extraordinary speed, innovation and efficiency.

The role:

As a Software Engineer in Test, you will be responsible for validating all current and future Autopilot features on the path to full self-driving. This requires you to be able to automatize large sets of test executions, evaluations, and result-visualizations. You will work very closely with the development team to drive the validation of new and existing Autopilot features, and you will be responsible for reporting and investigating issues that are detected in the field. The work you do will directly impact the experience that our customers around the world have with Autopilot.

You will work with teams in Europe, US and Asia. This will require you to be flexible in terms of when you start or end your workday. Multiple locations in Europe are possible for this role and can be discussed within the hiring process.

Excellent coding skills in Python or C++ and a self-driven attitude are paramount for this role.


Help transition Tesla’s Autopilot to full self-driving by developing & validating features including Autosteer, Navigate on Autopilot, Smart Summon, and more.

Develop tooling/automation to improve the efficiency of the validation team.  

Perform functional, stress, and performance tests on multiple levels within the system including vehicle software simulation, hardware-in-the-loop automation, and in-vehicle testing.

Leverage Tesla’s vast telemetry pipeline to monitor Autopilot performance in the field.

Identify effective test strategies for new/existing features and craft test plans accordingly.

Analyze issues detected during your tests or reported by others and work closely with firmware developers to fix issues and validate software changes.

Review of system requirements for testability and make sure software meets federal and internal requirements.


Evidence of strong coding skills in Python or C++. A live coding test will be part of the interview procedure.

Very strong English communication skills in conversation and writing (CEFR C1 level minimum, no certificate needed)

Qualified in Computer Science/Computer Engineering/Software Engineering, Information Systems, Electrical Engineering, or the equivalent in practical experience and evidence of exceptional ability.

Several years of experience in writing testing automation code of automotive or robotic systems, vehicle dynamics, embedded or system-level software, or consumer electronics hardware/software. Manual HiL test execution is not considered as relevant experience.

Evidence of hands-on experience troubleshooting on both software and hardware level.

Outstanding attention to detail.

Flexibility of traveling to various domestic and international destinations when necessary, to test vehicles on public roads, test tracks and proving grounds.

Valid driver’s license and clean driving record.

Experience testing ADAS features, and/or experience testing computer vision systems a big plus but not a must. Candidates with strong validation and test-automation experience from other fields of work, are welcomed to apply.

If you want to apply for a job at Tesla, head over to

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


  1. To me it was always clear that once Tesla has cracked FSD, it is no longer going to be selling its vehicles to the general public. The margin Tesla can generate on each vehicle by running as a robotaxi is significantly higher than that garnered by traditional car manufacturers. I thought Mr Musk has said that much on several occasions in the past…

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