Tesla’s new engineering HQ in California will focus on AI and robotics

It will hire engineers skilled in advancing research and development in the domain of AI.
Jijo Malayil
Representational image: Elon Musk, head of Tesla and Twitter at a construction site.
Representational image: Elon Musk, head of Tesla and Twitter at a construction site.

Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the buzzword in the technology space now. Jumping onto the bandwagon, Tesla recently announced its plans to expand its engineering center in California, and Elon Musk, its founder, has now hinted that the upcoming facility will focus mainly on developing its AI capabilities. 

According to CNBC, Musk said the upsizing will include hiring engineers skilled in advancing research and development in the space of AI.

This is slated to help further its development of autonomous driving and robot technology. 

While announcing its expansion plans on February 22, Tesla tweeted, "In 2022, we grew to 47k direct employees & $5B of capital investment in California. Today, we’re continuing our investment in California with our new Engineering HQ in Palo Alto."

The company said that its global headquarters remains in Austin, but the new facility in Palo Alto will act as the main hub for Tesla Engineering. 

The firm said its product impact across the state will include vehicle design, megapack production, hardware & software engineering, vehicle & battery manufacturing, and battery development & testing.

The firm has taken over the lease for office space vacated by Hewlett-Packard in California.

“This was HP’s original headquarters, and so I think it’s a poetic transition from the founders of Silicon Valley to Tesla, and we’re very excited to make this our global engineering headquarters," Musk told CNBC. 

Troubling times for Tesla in California

The endorsement from the state for future expansion comes after some distressing times for Tesla.

According to CNBC, the company had faced a lawsuit from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing regarding racism towards black workers in its plant.

Its Department of Motor Vehicles had also accused the firm based on it utilizing misleading advertising campaigns concerning its advanced driver assistance programs.

An investigation is also on regarding Tesla's unscientific segregation and disposal of hazardous waste materials.

In contrast, as a mark of approval, California's Governor Gavin Newsom talking about Tesla's expansion, said, "Since 2009, California has supported Tesla to help create the future of the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) market. Now, California will remain the home of Tesla as its new global engineering and AI headquarters work to develop the technology of the future."

California, becoming the hub of EVs 

California sold nearly 1.4 million electric vehicles as of December 2022, almost 40% of all such vehicles sold in the U.S. The state also features 80,027 shared electric vehicle chargers and 63 hydrogen stations. The state also hosts 55 EV-related manufacturing companies, more than any other state. 

According to a news release by the office of Gavin Newson, "California is home to nearly 830,000 immigrant entrepreneurs and 25 Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or children of immigrants," and the state has received over "51% of all venture capital invested in the United States – with more than $625 billion."

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