Two days before announcing the earnings for the first quarter, Tesla gathered investors to tell them about their new autonomous technology. Negotiations may have seemed a little heavier, but they provided an opportunity to showcase the idea of the company. The giant has announced readiness to deliver robotaxis – taxis that will be run independently and will be put into operation next year.
To make the situation more addictive, the company said it had created its own computer for autonomous vehicles. The neural network chip was built from scratch in 2016. Every computer (located in the glove compartment) has an additional spare chip, so if the first one is damaged, the second one immediately takes the calculations.
This is the first chip the company develops on its own
The CEO ELon Musk boasts that Tesla, “who has never designed a chip, has created the best chip in the world”. Musk reiterated that “all Tesla cars now have hardware to do everything necessary for self-driving. All that needs to be done is to improve the software”.
This hardware includes the connections between cameras and radars. When LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) appeared, Musk said that it was ordered by fools. “Everyone who relies on LiDAR is doomed. ” Later, he added that it is an extremely stupid development – expensive and unnecessary.
Most of the other car manufacturers use or plan to use LiDAR for driver assistance. The cost of technology is lower and its capabilities has increased.
Tesla has 8 “eyes” that “watch” at 360 degrees
Tesla noted that the attendees at the LIDAR event arrived with the help of their own eyes (not the lasers). This is a strange argument against technology as we can not see at 360 degrees at the same time, while Tesla can see the world in this way thanks to its 8 cameras.
Neural networks and autonomy of the new robotaxis
Musk admitted that the autonomous vehicle software is a serious problem. Still, he believes to complete it by 2020 and produce a fully functional robotic system.
Tesla’s CEO said he hoped to beat the price of Uber and Lyft by offering customers a $0.18/mile trip to the current $2-$3/mile.
Robotaxis in the most densely populated areas
Elon Must believes that in the near future Tesla will have more than a million robotaxis on the roads.
According to Musk’s promises, the new taxis will move everywhere. “If you need a route map, then you do not move with an autonomous car.” He says robots will serve densely populated areas such as San Francisco and New York by the end of the year.
The promises made at the meeting with the shareholders are far more aggressive than those of the other carmakers. However, Tesla has repeatedly set deadlines that it misses.