Elon Musk: “Tesla will introduce a fifth-level autopilot before the end of the year”July 13, 2020
Speaking at the opening of the annual World Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Shanghai (WAIC), Elon Musk said that Tesla intends to jump from the second level of autonomy of its autopilot to the fifth by the end of 2020. According to him, no insoluble engineering problems for the team working on a real autopilot remained.
The autonomy levels in unmanned vehicles are divided into five levels – from “0”, which means the complete absence of autopilot, to “5”, where the driver can forget about driving. Now Tesla uses the second level – “partial automation”, which independently controls the transport, but requires constant attention from the driver, keeping his hands on the steering wheel and willingness to intervene at any time.
“I am absolutely sure that the fifth level or, in fact, full automation will appear, and I think that it will appear very soon. And I’m still sure that this year we will have the basic functionality for the fifth-level autopilot, ”Musk said in a welcome video recorded for the conference.
At the moment, almost all major technology companies, including Alphabet, Waymo, Uber and Apple, are developing an autopilot. However, most of them use the technology of online mapping and LiDAR, which does not mean going beyond pre-laid routes.
Tesla takes a different approach. The automaker relies on neural networks and hardware developed by the company’s programmers. And at the heart of everything lies a huge array of data that constantly transfers to the company the million cars already produced by Tesla. The company does not disclose the structure of the data collected and other details, but the company’s engineers have repeatedly stated in anonymous short interviews that this ever-growing array of information about roads and traffic situations is the most valuable thing Tesla has. And that is why the company, in principle, is unattainable for competitors in the development of autopilot algorithms.
Skeptics believe that the industry will take time for the stand-alone technology to be perfected and become safe enough for everyday use. In addition, despite the small number of accidents caused by autopilot, most drivers still do not trust the new technology, reports Reuters.
In early July, Elon Musk promised to release “new autopilot functionality” within 2-4 months, and also praised the development team that completely rewrote the base code and 3D markings for the new version of Tesla autopilot.
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