Autonomous drone startup Skydio taps Tesla, Samsara veterans in enterprise push

Autonomous drone company Skydio has hired three executives in product and engineering following its recent $100 million Series C funding round as part of the company’s strategy to expand beyond consumer applications and into the enterprise and public sector markets.

The hires include Roy Goldman, who was the director of software development at Tesla for five years and most recently held a similarly senior position at Carbon. Goldman has been hired to head up Skydio’s product management.

The company also hired Ryan Reading, who previously worked at Samsara where he had been vice president of engineering and more recently general manager of fleet safety, to now head software engineering. Mike Ross, who led the telematics product group at Samsara, was hired as senior director of product management.

The company said Thursday that the trio will “play critical roles in realizing the company’s vision for the first-of-its-kind integrated enterprise autonomy stack.”

Skydio CEO Adam Bry noted in a blog post that their track record in delivering enterprise products with cloud-connected hardware will be “key” for the company.

Skydio raised $100 million earlier this year to fund its next phase of product development for the enterprise, public sector and defense markets.

Skydio initially focused on consumer drones, launching two since its founding in 2014. Both models of consumer drones use artificial intelligence technology to fly without a human operator. The autonomous system is able to track objects and people, while simultaneously avoiding potential collisions with objects, including trees, power lines and other obstacles.

The company announced this summer a new X2 drone platform designed for enterprise use. Skydio previously said that the X2 drone, which includes onboard 360-degree superzoom camera, a FLIR 320×256 resolution thermal imaging camera, a battery life of 35 minutes of flying time and a maximum range of 6.2 miles, will ship in the fourth quarter of this year.