Tesla AI Day 2021: Cars think like a living being

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Elon Musk unveils the company's artificial intelligence secrets

Tesla AI Day 2021: Cars think like a living being-cars

Elon Musk predicted that Tesla's AI Day, held in Palo Alto would be an event for insiders. On this occasion, the Tesla boss and a handful of his employees, who are responsible for various projects in the fields of supercomputers, artificial intelligence and fully self-driving cars, explained the progress made over the past two years.

However, there was no shortage of interesting insights into the company's future plans, and in fact – in line with Elon Musk's public statements – there were some surprises.

It is interesting that for the first time it was discussed in detail how the driver assistance system is structured. The reason given was that the car is imagined as an animal, with its various body parts, internal organs and of course a brain.

Between superchips and supercomputers

Let's start with the brain. All of the technology is based on two basic components. The first is the D1 chip, which was developed entirely in-house using 7nm technology.

According to Ganesh Venkataraman, the head of the project, it is twice as powerful as other top-of-the-line products currently in circulation. The D1 chip is the heart of the Dojo supercomputer, which in turn is responsible for managing the neural network on which the company's artificial intelligence technology is based.

The animal from Tesla

Andrej Karpathy, head of the artificial intelligence department, then explained how Tesla developed the driver assistance system. "We worked as if we had to design an animal from a blank sheet of paper," he explains, "so we created a system that thinks like a living being and reacts coherently and intelligently to the situations it is faced with.

In this way, "continues Karpathy," we have developed all the mechanical components of the body (the actual car, editor's note), its nervous system, which is represented by all electrical parts, and of course the autopilot's brain. Here, too, the comparison with a living being is appropriate. Because the brain uses several neural networks connected in series.

For example, there is one that analyzes the data coming from the cameras and works a bit like the eyes. This data, which has already been processed at a preliminary level, is then processed by a second, larger neural network, which combines it with other information in order to get a more precise idea of ​​the surroundings.

No autonomous driving yet

During the course of the evening it was repeatedly pointed out that it was full self driving is not a level 5 autonomous driving system, and it was affirmed that the driver must always have full control of the vehicle and pay attention to what is happening in order to be able to intervene in good time.

The clarifications may also have been made to send a strong signal from the company after an investigation opened into a number of accidents involving Tesla's autopilot in the United States.

More about Tesla's Full Self Driving: Tesla AI Day 2021: Cars think like a living being-cars Tesla Autopilot: US vehicles will drive without radar in the future

Tesla AI Day 2021: Cars think like a living being-tesla Tesla's "Full Self-Driving Beta" when turning left unprotected

In this context, it is interesting that the video shown before the event also shows a car equipped with Full Self Driving, which manages numerous driving scenarios, with the driver always keeping one hand on the wheel. A detail that should not be neglected.

"Those who have tested beta versions of Full Self Driving," continued Musk, "will have noticed how quickly the system learns from the situations it is faced with and how quickly it learns to drive in real traffic conditions . " So why is advanced autonomous driving still reserved for a select few and why is it taking so long to become available??

Two problems on the way to solution

Elon Musk was also very direct about the delays in introducing the new driver assistance system. There are two main areas in which the car needs to be taught how to behave correctly.

  • The detection of the environment even with obstacles that temporarily obstruct the view, such as B. other vehicles that do not allow the autopilot to perfectly monitor a curve or an intersection.
  • Reading signals that anticipate certain maneuvers, such as B. the merging of two lanes at a distance of 100 meters. In this case, the car needs to pick up the information and remember to drive at the right moment.

From car to robot

The supercomputer project started in 2019 has made a big step forward thanks to the new D1 chip. However, the dojo is not yet 100 percent operational and we will have to wait until next year for it to reach full capacity. Then, as Musk explained, "it will not only be used in cars, but also be able to use its self-learning mechanisms in numerous other areas of application.".

And here came the real surprise of the evening: the Tesla Bot, a robot that will use the same artificial intelligence technology that the company is developing for driver assistance, and which Elon Musk and his staff believe are all dangerous or repetitive and take on boring tasks that people no longer want to do themselves.

Picture gallery: Tesla AI Day August 2021

Tesla AI Day 2021: Cars think like a living being-2021

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