It seems that Tesla is about to make a massive Leap Forward in self-driving technology. On Saturday, Elon Musk took to Twitter to give new insight on a number of developments that Tesla is working on in regards to its self-driving technology.
Self-driving package are key to the California EV maker’s plan to unleash a massive fleet of self-driving autonomous taxis on the world.
This will not only allow those who invest in the purchase of an electric vehicle to gain a financial return on their investment, but may also reduce the need for everyone to own a private car.
The biggest announcement from Musk on Saturday was in regard to the “Dojo” supercomputer that he referred to in Tesla’s Autonomy Day in April 2019. This supercomputer will apparently help train neural net systems in order to process, as Musk puts it, “truly vast amounts of video data”.
“It’s a beast!” Musk said, adding, “Please consider joining our AI or computer/chip teams if this sounds interesting.”
But what would Dojo be used for? And how? Would it require another hardware upgrade for Tesla vehicles to be implemented?
A member of a Tesla podcast, Viv, answered these questions in a subsequent tweet, which was then confirmed by Musk who said, “Exactly”.
“Dojo is used to increase training speed & enable self-supervised learning. This is at server side, so no upgrades required on individual cars (IIRC),” she tweeted.
Musk did confirm that a big software improvement is just months away, and this next big update will finally allow drivers who have paid for the FSD package with the Tesla electric vehicles to drive with almost no human interventions (subject to local regulations). It will be released in 6 to 10 weeks and will represent a “quantum leap” according to Musk.
And Musk should know – he says he is already driving it.
“The FSD improvement will come as a quantum leap, because it’s a fundamental architectural rewrite, not an incremental tweak,” said Musk.
“I drive the bleeding edge alpha build in my car personally. Almost at zero interventions between home & work.”
In addition to allowing FSD drivers to enjoy autonomous driving with minimal intervention, Musk confirmed that there will be also be a few seemingly mundane but pretty significant updates – including the ability of FSD to negotiate roundabouts, although this will take a while to be done smoothly.
“Not perfectly at first, but yes. Will take maybe a year or so to get really good at roundabouts worldwide. The world has a zillion weird corner cases,” said Musk.
But what may spark even more excitement for some is the idea that FSD will be able to slow down for potholes and (if the road doesn’t have too many!) even avoid them.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.
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