Daily Management Review

Tesla Considering Designing And Developing AI Chips On Its Own To Support Its Auto-Pilot Project


According to an online report, for powering its self-driving technology, its own custom made artificial intelligence (AI) chips is being planned to by developed by Tesla, the U.S. electric car leader.
`"Tesla is serious about AI, both on the software and hardware fronts. We are developing custom AI hardware chips," Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly said while admitting so at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), which took place last Thursday, the news report said.
"Jim is developing specialized AI hardware that we think will be the best in the world," Musk said. He was referring to Jim Keller, vice president of the Sillicon Valley-based electric automobile company in California on the western U.S. coast.
Before joining Tesla in 2016, Keller has had varied experience in the field of chip engineering, having worked in as lead architect on a range of silicon at AMD, an American multinational semiconductor manufacturer, and at Apple.
"About half of new cars built 10 years from now will be autonomous," Musk told the participants at the NIPS party. With a period of about seven or eight years the advent of artificial general intelligence (AGI) would get completed, he believes.
The first ships for Tesla Autopilot was done by Tesla earlier in cooperation with Mobileye, an autonomous car technology developer, before associating with AMD. However, Tesla's project with Mobileye was ended after a person died in a Florida crash while he was driving Tesla car that was powered by Mobileye's semi-autonomous mode.
Following that incident Tesla changed its strategy for AI chip designing and manufacturing and decided to make them on its own. For this purpose, the company started hiring talented engineers and scientists from other companies such as AMD too add on to the already existing expertise at Tesla related to hardware engineering and system circuit design.
However, the time frame for the application of AI technology to its vehicles by Tesla is still not certain.
On the other hand, 10 of Tesla's newly-unveiled electric trucks Semi has been preordered by German logistics company DHL, the later said recently.
"The trucks will be used for shuttle runs and same-day customer deliveries, and will be tested for fuel efficiency on longer runs from major markets to other DHL operations across the country," DHL said in a statement.
Tesla Semi would also be bought by retailing giant Wal-Mart and fleet operator J.B. Hunt, the companies have said separately.
The Semi had been unveiled by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in November. The company had promised that the trucks would be ready to run on the roads by 2019.
The trucks would have enough power to cover a distance of 500 miles (800 km) on a single full charge and the price would be lower compared to a diesel semi when fuel savings, lower maintenance and other factors are taken into account.