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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently appeared on Clubhouse, and talked about a wide variety of topics, from memes and cryptocurrency, to the colonization of Mars and the latest news about his companies. During the conversation, Musk spoke in more detail about autonomous driving, the efforts of the AI team, and his atitude to Lidar.
In the future, Tesla intends to produce 20 million vehicles per year. The company is trying to ramp up car production as quickly as possible. The main limiting factor for this is the production of battery cells. Therefore, the company continues to encourage its main battery suppliers—Panasonic, LG Chem, and CATL—to ramp up production. In parallel with this, Tesla is working to produce its own cells, but not in order to refuse the services of its suppliers, but in order to increase the number of components vital for the production of EVs.
An increase in the number of cars produced overlaps with the issue of increasing their usefulness via full self-driving capability. During the Q4 2020 Earnings Call, Musk already talked about this, but brought up the topic again. Typically, the car is used about 12 hours a week, but the rest of the time it is parked. Full self-driving will change this, as cars can be used five times more often, about 60 hours a week. This drastic increase in potential usage can be unleashed, though, when Teslas become part of the Robotaxi network.
Musk emphasized that Tesla has the best AI team in the world, developing software and hardware. In addition to FSD, Tesla is developing a new Dojo training supercomputer that will process a huge amount of video training data to train neural networks.
He said he was not fundamentally against Lidar. For example, Dragon uses a specially designed and built lidar by the SpaceX team for docking to the ISS. However, to drive on real-world roads, automakers need to solve the problem of vision; cars need to be able to understand objects with passive optical photons, truly understanding what these objects are and really mean, and then cars need to anticipate what the objects are going to do and their likely path of movement, etc. In order to understand this, a human launches many neural networks in the head. Tesla is going to do the same in its vehicles.
Elon Musk’s Clubhouse session could be accessed below.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.