Tesla is acquiring DeepScale, a computer vision start-up that could help it develop fully driverless vehicles, CNBC has learned. The deal could help Tesla's goal to deliver cars with advanced driver-assistance systems that are good enough for owners to rent them out as "robotaxis" on an Uber-like platform without drivers. However, like all automakers, Tesla is limited by the computational resources it can build into its vehicles. DeepScale's technology was designed to help automakers use low-wattage processors, which are standard in most cars, to power very accurate computer vision. These processors work with sensors, mapping, planning and control systems, to allow cars to make sense of what's going on around them.
Tesla has acquired DeepScale, a Silicon Valley startup that uses low-wattage processors to power more accurate computer vision, in a bid to improve its Autopilot driver assistance system and deliver on CEO Elon Musk's vision to turn its electric vehicles into robotaxis. CNBC was the first to report the acquisition. TechCrunch independently confirmed the deal with two unnamed sources, although neither one would provide more information on the financial terms of the deal. Tesla vehicles are not considered fully autonomous, or Level 4, a designation by SAE that means the car can handle all aspects of driving in certain conditions without human intervention. Instead, Tesla vehicles are "Level 2," and its Autopilot feature is a more advanced driver assistance system than most other vehicles on the road today.
After 11 autopilot engineers left Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) in May amid department restructuring, Tesla found itself in need of new software talent. On October 1, Tesla announced its acquisition of Deepscale, a Silicon Valley, California-based startup that will help actualize Tesla CEO Elon Musk's desire for its vehicles to become self-driving robotaxis. On LinkedIn, Deepscale's CEO Forrest Iandola announced his new role as a senior staff machine learning scientist at Tesla. CNBC reported that Tesla bought Deepscale "outright," but no financial details have surfaced. Deepscale is Tesla's sixth acquisition, including Maxwell Technologies in May 2019.
Tesla has acquired a small artificial intelligence startup called DeepScale in order to help build its self-driving technology and reach its goal of building a giant fleet of robotaxis. CNBC is reporting that Tesla has acquired DeepScale, a Bay Area-based startup that focuses on "Deep Neural Network (DNN)". DeepScale CEO Forrest Iandola confirmed on LinkedIn that he joined Tesla as a "senior staff machine learning scientist": "I joined the Tesla #Autopilot team this week. I am looking forward to working with some of the brightest minds in #deeplearning and #autonomousdriving." Furthermore, the publication says that two additional sources confirmed that DeepScale was acquired by Tesla and its small team will be joining the automaker.
Tesla is determined to win the autonomous race without lidar. Tesla has big plans in store, if we're to follow CEO Elon Musk's timeframe laid out during the Autonomy Investor Day. In an effort to achieve these goals, the electric-car maker may have made a solid purchase. CNBC reported Tuesday that Tesla has fully acquired a tech startup company called DeepScale. The startup focuses on computer vision and not on lidar, which many other companies and automakers bank out to give their self-driving car prototypes the gift of sight.