Tesla’s Self Driving Car

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Tesla’s Self Driving Car

Tesla Self Driving Car

Tesla Self Driving Car

via Wikipedia

Tesla Self Driving Car

via Wikipedia

via Wikipedia

Tesla Self Driving Car

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Tesla first unveiled its plans for an autonomous driving system in 2016. Three years later, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk believes that Tesla’s Self Driving System will be completed by the end of 2019. In a video released by Tesla, it shows a timelapse of a self-driving Tesla smoothly driving through light traffic, navigating local roads and even stopping at stop signs.

Tesla’s self-driving system relies entirely on cameras, forward facing radar, and ultrasonic sensors. This system of sensors informs the car about its surroundings. Data from these sensors are sent to the car’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) chip that was designed by Tesla. The chip uses less than 100 watts of power, reducing its effect on the car’s range and also capable of carrying out 36 trillion operations a second and processing 2000 frames a second. The FSD chip comes standard in all new Tesla’s and owners of older vehicles have the option of installing the FSD chip for $6000. Each car has two FSD chips, in case one chip fails. Tesla claims that the odds of the computer failing is substantially lower than the odds of someone losing consciousness. Elon Musk also claims that every new Tesla has all the required software for self-driving, it is only a matter of upgrading the software.

At Tesla’s Autonomy Investor Day, Elon Musk declared that LIDAR and anyone using LIDAR was doomed. LIDAR shoots out light beams that bounce off nearby objects and measure the time it is required for the beam to return to determine the distance of that object. It is typically a bulky system that is placed on top of a car. Practically all competing self-driving cars use LIDAR such as General Motors and Waymo, the Google-based company. Tesla’s camera-based self-driving system delivers more information than LIDAR such as the difference between a car and a bike but also requires more complex AI. Typically the more data an AI system receives the better it will operate and Tesla currently has half a million cars with camera’s collecting data 24/7. Every Tesla car has camera’s equipped.

Also at Tesla’s Autonomy Investor Day, Musk announced his plans for Tesla’s ridesharing system. Essentially, any Tesla owner can add their car to Tesla’s fleet of autonomous vehicles. The car will automatically pick up and transport passengers. The owner of the car can choose which times the car is in the fleet such as while they are on vacation. In areas where demand is larger than the number of private cars running, such as in large cities, Tesla will run its own fleet of vehicles. Vehicle owners could receive up to 75% of the profits, helping to reduce or even completely eliminate vehicle costs.

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