Jul 09, 2023

Musk Reveals Final Piece in Tesla’s Full Self

Elon Musk stated that Tesla is now closing in on the 'final piece' of its FSD technology. This game-changing piece of the puzzle is none other than the AI-based 'vehicle control' - the driving force behind how the car navigates in its environment.

A large portion of our readers said "two weeks" when reading that opening paragraph. Undoubtedly, Musk has been promising fully autonomous driving is close for years. However, he also admitted two years ago that he didn't realize how difficult autonomous driving would be when he stated, "Generalized self-driving is a hard problem… I didn’t expect it to be so hard." That acknowledgment makes this latest bold statement even more compelling. Are we really at the final stages? It would line up with Musk's earlier statement that the next version of FSD would be out of beta.

The role of vehicle control in the FSD system is paramount. It enables the car to execute critical operations such as steering, accelerating, or braking based on decisions informed by the surrounding environment. It's like the final act of an orchestra, where the car translates all the data collected from sensors and AI processing into movement.

Musk's latest tweet (or X?) suggests a massive leap forward in this respect. He stated that Tesla will "drop >300k lines of C++ control code by ~2 orders of magnitude". In layman's terms, Tesla plans to significantly simplify the complexity of the vehicle control code - by nearly a hundred times. This suggests a significant evolution in Tesla's approach to vehicle control, transitioning from traditional coding to more advanced machine learning or neural network approaches.

Such a simplification doesn't just mean less code but also signals a massive boost in efficiency and reliability. It's as if Tesla is cutting out the unnecessary noise in the conversation between the car and its driving environment, enabling a smoother, safer, and more intelligent drive.

Even as Tesla strives towards this vision, Musk, who recently said that v12 of FSD is mind-blowing, acknowledges that progress is not without its bottlenecks. In the same tweet, he remarked, "Our progress is currently training compute constrained, not engineer constrained." While this highlights the intensive computational demands of training these sophisticated AI systems, it also subtly nods toward Tesla's dedication to overcoming these hurdles.

The path to full self-driving is filled with complex challenges, and it's clear that Tesla is tackling them head-on. With vehicle control being hailed as the final piece of the FSD puzzle, it seems that Tesla may be closer than ever to realizing its goal of a fully autonomous driving future. And as Musk has hinted, the only roadblock is computational resources, which Tesla has repeatedly shown it's more than capable of overcoming.

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