Marc Tarpenning, co-founder of Tesla Motors, is the newest member of Clearpath Robotics' advisory board, the company announced. Tarpenning was tapped for his entrepreneurial and technical insight.
It's a nice win for a surging robotics company. Clearpath, which helped ease warehouse and logistics pressures during Black Friday, develops self-driving vehicles for industry, which is why Tarpenning makes sense. But Clearpath's vehicles don't look anything like Tesla's.
The Canadian company has made a name providing hardware, software, and services to enable self-driving vehicle development, deployment, and fleet operation for over 500 brands in more than 40 countries. It's robots work in materials handling, mining, military applications, and agriculture, to name a few relevant industries.
"We're thrilled to have Marc on our advisory board and work with him on a regular basis," said Matt Rendall, chief executive officer at Clearpath Robotics. "Marc brings experience and insight that will help to guide our team as we accelerate the growth of our business and enter new markets with self-driving vehicle technology."
Tarpenning has a history on the leading edge of technologies, though until now he's worked mostly on the consumer side. He co-founded NuvoMedia in 1998, which developed the Rocket ebook - one of the first handheld devices for digital books. In 2003 he co-founded Tesla Motors to build electric cars and led the development of the Tesla Roadster - the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells. Tarpenning is now an active board member and advisor with numerous esteemed organizations and resides in Portola Valley, California.
"Self-driving technology is clearly on the cusp of a major breakthrough. I'm happy to offer my assistance to Clearpath who, much like Tesla, has ambitious goals for making a meaningful impact on society," said Tarpenning.