Tesla: Elon Musk Doubles Down on Full Self-Driving for Next Year
Elon Musk is remaining confident in plans to achieve full autonomous driving, and it could come as soon as next year. The Tesla CEO, who previously claimed the company would achieve a coast-to-coast self-driving trip as early as 2017, stated in a Friday interview that the company is further ahead than anyone else in the race.
Musk declared in an interview with Kara Swisher at Recode that that the company is “on track to do it next year,” stating that “I think we’ll get to full self-driving next year, as a generalized solution.” He also dismissed competitor efforts by claiming “I don’t wanna sound overconfident, but I would be very surprised if any of the car companies exceeded Tesla in self-driving, in getting to full self-driving.” He did, however, highlight Waymo as perhaps the competitor that’s furthest ahead in the race, the Alphabet company that started life as Google’s self-driving project.
Tesla claims that every car shipping since October 2016 comes with the necessary combination of eight cameras, ultrasonic sensors and GPS that could enable full autonomous driving at a later date, eschewing the lidar sensor that other firms are using to measure object distance. Musk claimed in the interview that cameras are more than enough for full autonomy, as “all creatures on Earth navigate with cameras…there’s no question that image-recognition neural nets and cameras, you can be superhuman at driving with just cameras.”
While Musk does not expect the need to upgrade the sensor set to roll out full autonomy, there will be some small hardware changes. The company plans to switch out the Nvidia Drive PX 2 with a more powerful chip developed in-house specifically for autonomous driving. The chip, announced in August, will deliver 10 times the performance with the ability to process 2,000 frames per second will full redundancy and fail-over.
As for when this chip will launch? Expect it in all Tesla’s cars sometime in the next five months.
Just in time for the Model Y.