The ride-sharing firm Lyft and Faraday Future, a troubled electric carmaker and potential Tesla competitor, have quietly appointed new top executives, but like the rest of the industry, they struggle to find talent for their driverless programs.
Lyft has tapped Salesforce.com to name Mike Johnson as its first chief information security officer, according to Johnson's LinkedIn profile. A graduate of North Carolina State University in computer science, he has held mostly information security-related roles. He will also play a key management role in the development of different businesses, including Lyft's driverless program, according to a Lyft spokesman, who confirmed the veracity of a The Wall Street Journal report.
Faraday has extended CFO Stefan Krause's responsibilities to include serving as the company's chief operating officer, according to his LinkedIn profile. The former long-time BMW executive will also fill in as the troubled company's CEO until that open position is filled, according to reports.
But while both companies can make progress in filling its top-executive ranks, they are struggling to recruit the necessary engineering talent to develop their respective driverless car programs, a source close to both companies told Driverless.id.
Lyft's recruitment difficulties reflect a general industry shortage of driverless engineers. However, Faraday faces an even greater struggle to replace autonomous car engineers and program directors who left the company amid its recent financial troubles.
Following cash flow shortages and concerns about main Faraday investor Jia Yueting's solvability, the EV startup continues to post numerous job listings for autonomous driving-related positions that remain unfilled.
As AI and machine learning specialists remain in shorty supply, the race to develop and launch truly driverless vehicles should largely hinge on which firm can attract the most-talented engineers.
Ex-Uber Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick had agreed to protect former Google engineers before hiring them in case Google sought to hold Uber liable for illegally benefiting from Google know-how, court documents show. One of the former employees and now former Uber engineer was Anthony Levandowski, who Waymo, an Alphabet subsidiary and now Google sister company, claims stole trade secrets that Uber has used for its driverless program.
Leading German automotive supplier says German carmakers could stop developing combustion engineer cars within six years, as they shift resources to autonomous driving and electric vehicles, Reuters reports. Continental's head of finance reportedly said developing combustion engine cars will eventually no longer be economically viable. Germany hosts some of the world's largest carmakers, including Volkswagen for the mainstream market and Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche in the premium car space.