Tesla's Elon Musk takes to Twitter in quest for smart car engineers

The entrepreneur will interview applicants himself for Tesla's self-driving car scheme.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to appeal directly for engineers interested in working with him on the company's Autopilot self-driving car software development.

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The 44-year-old billionaire entrepreneur posted a number of messages on microblogging platform Twitter in an attempt to find fresh talent for the Tesla Autopilot project. Musk said he wants to see applicants who are "hardcore software engineers," but they do not need any prior experience working with cars to join Autopilot.

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Autopilot is Tesla's response to the shift in the automotive industry which is transforming our vehicles into computer systems rather than simply a manual way to get from A to B.

Connected car technology has come in leaps and bounds in the past few years. It is now not uncommon to see new vehicles equipped with Internet-connected infotainment dashboards, rear-facing cameras which help us reverse park, sensors which warn drivers when they are too close to obstacles or inbuilt map and GPS systems.

Beyond driver assistance, the idea of self-driving cars has been born. Google is one of many companies exploring how sensors and mapping technology can be used to direct cars to drive safely on the road with minimum human interaction, and Tesla is exploring the same routes.

Autopilot is a computerized system which allows the Model S Tesla vehicle to steer within lanes, change lanes automatically after a simple tap of a button, and manage speed without driver input through cruise control. In addition, Autopilot can take care of parking by parallel parking automatically and alerting drivers when a space is available.

The Tesla chief said the recruitment drive was necessary to ramp up the Autopilot team and accelerate the achievement of "generalized full autonomy" in vehicles. Musk will be interviewing candidates personally as the need for skilled engineers has become a "super high priority" for the entrepreneur.

Interested engineers need to apply with a sample of their work and are not limited by their location.

While drivers may enjoy Autopilot technology, they still need to keep their hands on the wheel. Unfortunately for Model S drivers in Hong Kong , as some users have ignored this instruction Autopilot has now been disabled wirelessly in response to government concerns about safety in traffic.

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