One Of Elon’s Musk-ateers Leaves. Tesla’s Top Lawyer Departs For Company That Makes Self-Driving Car Laser Sensors.

Two women in an electric car drive into a Tesla delivery location and service center Friday, April 2, 2021, in Corte Madera, Calif. The president and auto industry maintain the nation is on the cusp of a gigantic shift to electric vehicles and away from liquid-fueled cars, but biofuels producers and some of their supporters in Congress aren't buying it and argue now is the time to increase sales of ethanol and biodiesel, not abandon them. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Maybe it’s something; maybe it’s nothing, but it certainly qualifies as interesting.

Alan Prescott, a lawyer who knows a little bit about cars and self-driving technology, has decided to leave Tesla for a startup company that develops laser sensors for those self-driving cars.

Prescott had joined Tesla in 2017, and, before that, was senior counsel for the Uber’s self-driving unit — and before that worked 10+ years for Ford. 

Prescott had been with Tesla for four years and became its top legal executive in December 2019. 

His new position is chief legal officer for Luminar, according to a company statement.

Luminar listed on the Nasdaq stock market via reverse merger in December, making its 26-year-old CEO, Austin Russell, a billionaire virtually overnight.

Russell expressed support for Prescott in a press release.

“(He) understands the challenges and nuances of operating in both the autonomous driving space and in the automotive industry more broadly, and we look forward to his insights and expertise as we continue to scale our business and accelerate the expansion of our product and commercial roadmaps,” Russell said.

Luminar uses laser sensors, known as lidar, to allow cars to “see” their surroundings, seen as a critical component for self-driving features.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is developing a system using cameras and radar, but no lidar.

Musk wasn’t too impressed by Luminar’s progress, calling the company’s technology – also used by most other self-driving-car companies — “doomed.” 

Prescott, an associate and later deputy general counsel as well as director of regulatory affairs for the past two years at Tesla, updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect his move. 

He is joined by Trey Campbell, former head of investor relations at Intel, who will lead Luminar’s investor relations, Luminar said.

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