Innovation

Musk Reads: Tesla's next-gen self-driving computer

Tesla's autonomous driving system is set for improvements and the giant Model Y machine gets installed. All-wheel steering?

Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Tesla’s autonomous driving system is set for improvements and the giant Model Y machine gets installed. All-wheel steering? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #196.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk quote of the week

“New Roadster wheels will only have one nut […] it will have huge nuts haha”

Tesla

Could Tesla be gearing up to release a new self-driving computer? China Times, in a report translated by Electrek, claimed Tuesday that “Hardware 4” could enter mass production in the fourth quarter of 2021. The chip would use TSMC’s 7nm process – or, in other words, it would use manufacturing expertise from the same company that makes chips for the iPhone.

It’s not the first time news of a next-gen chip has surfaced. In April 2019, Musk explained how the “Hardware 3” chip will power autonomous driving, claiming the company is “halfway through” developing its successor. Check out this video to find out more.

What sort of software will run on the chip? Last week, Musk explained that the company’s “Dojo” computer is training a new version of its autonomous driving system. This new version, Musk claimed in an earnings call, would be able to do “traffic lights, stops, turns … everything pretty much.” From there, it would be a case of getting the system to work in an increasingly large number of situations. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to host its planned Battery Day soon. Comments from Musk suggested the event could take place on September 15 alongside the shareholder meeting. Visitors should receive a tour of the cell production system. The event is expected to be one of the most important in the firm’s history. Read more.

In other Musk news…

  • Tesla’s insurance business is moving out of California. The firm may start first with China, Electrek reported.
  • Electric car startup Lucid claims an SUV version could enter production in early 2023. CEO Peter Rawlinson made the comments in an interview with Green Car Reports.
  • Tesla’s giant single piece casting machine, the biggest ever of its kind, has been installed at the Fremont factory. Elon Musk claimed via Twitter that it will make the rear body of the Model Y in a single piece.

Musk Reads mailroom

jamiemeves writes:

You might want to check out Educational Tall Ship, Matthew Turner, a 135’ wooden tall ship recently completed in Sausalito, CA.

Educational Tall Ship now goes by the name Call of the Sea, and their Matthew Turner project is definitely interesting. Its developers state that it’s “combining technologies from the 19th and 21st centuries” to power electric AC motors. As the ship sails, the propellers rotate due to the passing water. It’s even intended to charge up from a dockside solar and wind project. The $6 million ship took seven years to build, and the keel was set in October 2013. The ship has been hosting community sailing sessions over the summer.

Kim and Karen Kaiser write:

Is Tesla considering an all wheel steer car/truck?

It doesn’t seem like it for now. Tesla has not publicly expressed interest, even with the Cybertruck that packs a ton of features necessary for tackling tough terrain. Autoweek has a great summary about all-wheel steering vehicles, which explains how the idea never saw much traction in the United States and Europe because it was hard to really tell a difference. Never say never, though.

Got any comments or queries? Don’t forget to send them over to muskreads@inverse.com.

Photo of the week

Reader Jasmin Morsy sent in this stunning photo of a Tesla Model 3 in Austria. Jasmin took this photo during a road trip from Vienna to Kitzbühel, and the mountainscape moves wonderfully into the glass roof on top. Thanks for your submission, Jasmin!

Tesla Model 3 in Austria.Jasmin

Got a photo or video you’d like to see featured? Send it over to muskreads@inverse.com!

The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #196, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

What did you think of today’s stories? Hit reply to this email to let us know. Thanks for reading!

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

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