Musk Makes Bold Promise On Robotaxis

Katie Ramirez
April 23, 2019

Tesla switched over to its own chips and self-driving computer from Nvidia's for the Model S and Model X about a month ago, and for the Model 3 about 10 days ago, Musk told investors at Tesla's headquarters in Palo Alto, California. The electric-car maker is due to release first-quarter earnings after US stock markets close on April 24.

Investors also weren't convinced as shares in the company dropped.

The new chip is being installed in all its vehicles, clearing the way to improve its software and "neural networks" that will effectively drive the autonomous vehicles. The annual meeting is to be held on June 11.

The chief executive said the electric auto company would have "over a million robotaxis" on the road next year. He said it was improbable but true that Tesla had designed the industry's best self-driving chip, saying Tesla's was dedicated for autonomous driving, while others, like Nvidia Corp, developed chips that could do other things as well.

"We will have more than one million robotaxis on the road", Musk said. "It's like having a whole bunch of expensive appendices, one appendix is bad, well why have a whole bunch of them, that's ridiculous".

Amnon Shashua, CEO of Israeli autonomous vehicle computing company Mobileye, says cars with 360-degree cameras and front facing radar could drive autonomously, but they would not be as safe as human drivers.

Musk has been predicting fully self-driving cars are "only a couple of years away" for some time now.

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When a person wants to use their auto, they can opt out of the Tesla Network.

The FSD chip design was discussed during the presentation yesterday, and you can see the full Tesla Autonomy Day event on YouTube here.

Tesla maintains that its current systems are only for assistance, and that drivers must pay attention and be ready to intervene.

February 28 - In response to a media question whether it is problematic that Musk uses the term "full self-driving", Musk replies: "I think we're very clear when you buy the auto what is meant by full self-driving".

California, Tesla's biggest US market, requires proof that fully autonomous cars can drive safely on public roads, but most other states aren't as stringent. There was very little traffic on the road, only basic road signs that prompted the Model 3 to "stop and go"-at the very most-and few road markings". And experts say there's no federal law requiring preapproval for fully autonomous driving, as long as a vehicle meets federal safety standards, which Teslas already do.

Now, of course, Tesla will have chosen a route that its vehicle can comfortably tackle, and they're not the first to do it, though the car's adeptness in dealing with on ramps, junctions and traffic (the latter which can't entirely be planned for) is remarkable.

"People will die", Rajkumar predicted.

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