The new version of Tesla’s full-self driving beta software will be available in two weeks, and it will “blow your mind,” says Elon Musk.
In a series of tweet’s on Thursday (US time), the Tesla CEO and co-founder outlined more about the upcoming V9.0 release, saying he’s already been using it in his own car, and in his opinion it is very cool.
Tesla revealeed in its Q1 2021 earnings call on Tuesday that it thinks the visual portion of its AI technology has reached the point that it will be able to ditch radar altogether.
“Our AI-based software architecture has been increasingly reliant on cameras, to the point where radar is becoming unnecessary earlier than expected,” it said in its earnings report. “As a result, our FSD team is fully focused on evolving to a vision-based autonomous system and we are nearly ready to switch the US market to Tesla Vision.”
Now, Musk says that proving vision-only is safer is the only thing standing in Tesla’s way of ditching the radar component, and this will be rolled out to a limited number of beta testers in two weeks.
“Gating factor is achieving & proving higher safety with pure vision than with vision+radar. We are almost there,” he tweeted.
Gating factor is achieving & proving higher safety with pure vision than with vision+radar. We are almost there.
FSD Beta V9.0 will blow your mind.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2021
Musk went on to describe further details about how the new beta software will show “actual probability of distribution of objects”, in his opinion what the ” true mind’s eye of the neural net” would look like.
“This is so cool!” he said.
FSD display V9.0 will show actual probability distribution of objects – true mind’s eye of the neural net. This is so cool!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2021
“A major part of real-world AI has to be solved to make unsupervised, generalized full self-driving work, as the entire road system is designed for biological neural nets with optical imagers,” he tweeted.
“Was using this in my car last night.”
Stand by for numerous uploads to Youtube when it does go live to the beta program participants.
Tesla has been under scrutiny in recent weeks after the death of two men in Texas. Police had said there was no-one behind the wheel, and two men were found dead upon arrival on the back seat and front passenger seat.
Tesla and Elon Musk said at first that data showed Autopilot had not been activated, although a spokesperson for the company later said that the cruise control portion of the software had accelerated to 30 miles per hour (48km/hr). Investigations are continuing.
Full Self-Driving (FSD) is a semi-autonomous driving suite that can be additionally purchased on top of the price of a Tesla car. It currently costs $A10,100 locally but its full features are only available to a small number of beta drivers in the US.
Tesla makes clear on its website and in the car’s app and interface that both FSD and the standard Autopilot feature are not a substitute for a driver (FSD may be in the future if regulations allow and Tesla can prove it is much safer than a human driver), and that drivers must be attentive at all time. It recently removed some drivers from the beta testing program.
An example of how Autopilot can detect, and avoid, pedestrians was posted to Twitter on Friday by Beyond Zero News chair Eytan Lenko, who said: “This man being pulled by his dog across a busy road has @tesla autopilot to thank for not being hurt today. My Model 3 started braking to avoid them way before I noticed what was happening. Autopilot makes you a safer driver.”
This man being pulled by his dog across a busy road has @tesla autopilot to thank for not being hurt today. My Model 3 started braking to avoid them way before I noticed what was happening. Autopilot makes you a safer driver @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/vg9p8lgiDl
— Eytan Lenko (@eytanlenko) April 30, 2021
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 since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.