At Tesla Motors’ annual shareholder meeting and Battery Day 2020 event, CEO Elon Musk announced that the electric automobile manufacturer is preparing to release a private beta of the “full self-driving version” of its Autopilot driver-aid software in the coming months.
“It’s kind of hard for people to judge the progress of Autopilot,” Musk told a crowd of shareholders present at the event, each social distancing in their own Tesla Model 3, drive-in style. “I’m driving a bleeding edge, alpha build of Autopilot, so I sort of have insight into what is going on.”
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Musk went on to explain how Tesla’s engineers recently had to overhaul major parts of the Autopilot, including a rethinking of how the system sees the world.
“We had to do a fundamental rewrite of the entire Autopilot software stack… We’re now labeling 3D video, which is hugely different from when we were previously labeling single 2D images,” Musk explained, referring to the way the Autopilot software understands what the objects it sees with its eight cameras are, and how it should react to them. “We’re now labeling entire video segments, taking all cameras simultaneously and labeling that. The sophistication of the neural net of the car and the overall logic of the car is improved dramatically.”
Musk hinted that drivers may get a chance to experience this more sophisticated version of Autopilot soon.
“I think we’ll hopefully release a private beta of Autopilot — the full self-driving version of autopilot — in, I think a month or so? And then people will really understand the magnitude of the change,” said Musk adding, “It’s profound. You’ll see what it’s like, it’s amazing.”
Attendees showed their approval for Musk’s promise by honking the horns of their safety bubbles.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for this next-generation of Autopilot over the next few weeks. In the meantime, check out the rest of our coverage of Tesla Battery Day 2020 for more announcements and breaking news.