May 13, 2018 / 9:41 PM / in 6 months

Tesla executive Schwall joins Alphabet's Waymo

A Jaguar I-PACE self-driving car is pictured during its unveiling by Waymo in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit, Waymo, said on Sunday that Matthew Schwall had joined the company from Tesla Inc where he was the electric carmaker’s main technical contact with U.S. safety investigators.

The company confirmed the move earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal, which said Schwall joined Waymo’s safety team led by former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Ron Medford.

The former Tesla executive began at Waymo last Monday and will work on a variety of self-driving car safety issues in his new role, the Journal reported.

Schwall, who was director of field performance engineering at Tesla, exited the company at a time when the National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating multiple crashes involving the electric vehicles.

On Wednesday, the NTSB said it would investigate a Tesla accident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that killed two teenagers and injured another - the agency’s fourth active probe into crashes of the company’s electric vehicles.

Tesla did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on Sunday.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney

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