Tesla, under pressure to show it can generate profits on its main business of making electric cars, on Monday trumpeted a custom-designed computer chip to let its vehicles drive themselves. Even with the new chip -- which comes with all new vehicles and can be installed in older ones -- Teslas still aren't yet fully capable of driving without human intervention. They now have "all hardware necessary," said Elon Musk, Tesla's chief executive officer. "All you have to do is improve the software." The software will be updated over the air to allow full self-driving by the end of the year, he said.
Tesla's "autonomy day" kicked off on Monday morning at the electric-vehicle maker's headquarters in Palo Alto, California, where executives including CEO Elon Musk were expected to give investors more details about the company's self-driving technology, known as Autopilot. "Tesla is making significant progress in the development of its autonomous driving software and hardware, including our FSD computer, which is currently in production and which will enable full-self driving via future over-the-air software updates," the company said when it announced the event. Attendees were given red, Tesla-branded badges with sequential numbers, assumably for test rides of the full self-driving functionality. Musk took the stage just before noon alongside Pete Bannon, the vice president of Autopilot engineering, as more than 40,000 people watched remotely via the company's live YouTube stream. Bannon explained how Tesla designed a new chip for its Autopilot software, noting that the company was able to leverage expertise from multiple teams across the business.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to turn the electric car company's fleet of vehicles into a massive autonomous ride-hailing network. Musk laid out his vision for the self-driving Tesla network -- which he expects to be in operation as early as next year -- at a Monday investor event focused on autonomous driving. It's not the first time he's floated the idea; he tweeted about Tesla robotaxis earlier this month. But his timeline, and much of the other details about the service, should be taken with huge helpings of salt. Competitors that have been testing self-driving taxis for awhile couldn't pull off what Musk is suggesting in the same timeframe.
Elon Musk said he's'very confident' that Tesla will have autonomous robo-taxis on the road as soon as next year. The billionaire tech mogul showed off a Tesla ride-sharing app at the company's Autonomy Day with investors at its Palo Alto, California headquarters on Monday. Not long after Tesla's robo-taxis are operational, Musk also predicts the firm will eliminate the steering wheel and pedals from its vehicles by 2021. Elon Musk said he's'very confident' that Tesla will have autonomous robo-taxis on the road as soon as next year. Pictured is a mock up of Tesla's ride-sharing app, shown at Autonomy Day'I feel very confident predicting autonomous robo-taxis for Tesla next year,' Musk said on stage.
Two days ahead of its first-quarter earnings disclosure, the company had an event to explain its autonomous technology to investors. The talks were probably denser than the average shareholder was expecting but it was an opportunity to see how Tesla will deliver a self-driving car and it announced that Tesla robo-taxis will be available next year. To kick things off, the company shared that it had built its very own computer for self-driving cars. The neural network chip was built from the ground up; the project started back in 2016. Each computer (which is stored behind the glove box) has redundancy so that if one chip fails, the second chip can take over.