News: Faraday Has Little Luck Filling Empty Engineer Slots, Left with Gutted Driverless Program

Faraday Has Little Luck Filling Empty Engineer Slots, Left with Gutted Driverless Program

Faraday Future's all-electric super sports car concept attracted a lot of attention at CES earlier this year, but now it is struggling to replace key driverless 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 electrical vehicle (EV) startup and potential Tesla competitor continues to post numerous job listings for autonomous driving-related positions that remain unfilled.

Driverless-development staff Faraday has yet to replace include:

Jan Becker, senior director of automated from driving 2016-2017;

  • Sangmin Oh, who rejoined Nvidia as an autonomous driving engineer in March 2017, after a roughly one-year stint at Faraday in an engineering capacity;
  • Yong Dian Jian, a staff computer vision scientist for Tesla since May, served as a senior technical specialist for autonomous driving at Faraday Future from Apr 2016 until Apr 2017;
  • Robert Taylor, a studio engineer from December 2016 until May 2016.

Other recent Faraday departures include the director of vehicle purchasing, the technical lead for self-driving sensors, the senior engineering manager for chassis, the technical program manager for digital products, and the director of electrical engineering and software.

Faraday recently hired Ulrich Kranz, a 30-year BMW veteran and head of the German premium carmaker's Project i electric vehicle (EV) division, as its CTO, but has not made a similar appointment during the past few months.

Faraday did not respond to emails or return phone calls when queried about is recruitment challenges and whether it is has recently hired new high-level driverless development executives to replace the staff it has lost.

Despite its recruitment and other difficulties, automotive analyst Aaron Dale of IHS Automotive told told Driverless Faraday worth watching, despite its recent financial woes.

Faraday Future has been vocal about its intent to be among the pioneers bringing autonomous driving technology to the roads, its prototypes and test programs of late are testament to this. However, we are yet to see any concrete plans/timelines from Faraday Future- so in this case, they would definitely be a company I will be keeping a watchful eye on, but not drawing any conclusions.

— Aaron Dale, an analyst for IHS Automotive

The Big Struggle

Since Faraday's launch of its FF91 concept in January at CES, Faraday has suffered a series of financial setbacks.

It was widely reported in July, for example, that a Chinese court froze $182 million in assets belonging to Faraday investor Jia Yueting, who is also chairman of China-based and principal Faraday investor LeEco, following a series of missed payments by a LeEco subsidiary.

Faraday may get a shot in the arm from another investor willing to underwrite it or be able to get its finances in order eventually, but in the meantime, its ability to move ahead with the development of its FF91 concept into a production model by hiring the right people remains in question.

Cover image via Faraday Future/YouTube

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