Along with its third quarter financial results, Tesla gave an update on two of its most well-known product programs: Model 3 and Autopilot.
The Model 3 production ramp has been delayed by roughly 3 months.
As for the Autopilot program, which has also seen its fair share of delays over the last year, it doesn’t get a clear updated timeline, but Tesla still hyped new functions coming in the ‘next several months’ and it elaborated on its work to further develop its autonomous driving system.
Tesla wrote in the shareholder letter:
“Now that the foundation of the Tesla vision neural net is right, which was an exceptionally difficult problem, as it must fit into far less computing power than is typically used, we expect a rapid rollout of additional functionality over the next several months and are progressing rapidly towards our goal of a coast-to-coast drive with no one touching the controls.”
Earlier this year, we reported that Tesla introduced a new Autopilot hardware suite, dubbed “2.5”, in all its vehicles to enable more computer power and redundancy for its future self-driving capability.
It sounds like they are now managing to make their vision neural net work on the onboard computing power.
The teasing of upcoming “additional functionality over the next several months” echoes what Tesla President Jon McNeill said a few weeks ago.
The automaker also noted improvements in recent software updates:
“We continue to update our Autopilot software and recently made significant improvements to the Autosteer function.”
We reported last week on the first drives of Tesla’s latest Autopilot software update showing some improvements. The latest two updates were mostly well-received by Tesla Autopilot 2.0 owners.
Now to push Autopilot further toward the long-promised fully self-driving capability, Tesla says that it focuses on building a strong AI team:
“The Tesla AI team, which is fundamental to achieving full autonomy, strengthened dramatically this year, with a number of the world’s best AI engineers and researchers joining our company. We plan to continue building Tesla AI until it is one of the best teams in the world, not just in automotive, where Tesla is already the leader, but across all industries. This applies to both software and hardware.”
Earlier this summer, Tesla hired Andrej Karpathy, a renowned AI researcher, as the new head of AI and Autopilot vision.
The timeline for Tesla releasing its fully self-driving capability is not any more clear following Tesla’s update, but it sounds like we now have a very rough timeline of “the next several months” for the release of new ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ features.
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