Tesla chief executive says the electric car manufacturer will launch a number of robotaxis without human drivers across the United States next year.
Speaking at the ‘Tesla Autonomy Day,’ Musk said that the autonomous taxi service will be introduced to select cities across the country and also said that the carmaker will make a car with no steering wheel or pedals in “probably two years from now.”
Tesla is rapidly moving towards total autonomy
Alongside the announcement of its planned robotaxi fleet, Tesla announced its all-new Full Self-Driving computer which Musk asserts is “objectively the best chip in the world.” Tesla has been working on its autonomous chip for a number of years and announced that all Model S and Model X vehicles built since around March 20th and all Model 3 vehicles built around April 12 and onwards have the new computer installed.
The new chip is made by Samsung in Texas. Tesla says its Full Self-Driving computer will allow it to achieve total autonomy and according to Tesla’s head of Autopilot hardware, the chip is capable of seven times as many frames as Nvidia’s Xavier system. Tesla had previously said that its vehicles would be fully self-driving by 2018 but that target was missed.
During the Tesla Autonomous Day, Elon Musk also hit out at automotive and technology company rivals who are using Lidar systems to achieve autonomous driving functions.
“Lidar is a fools’ errand. And anyone relying on Lidar is doomed,” Musk said. “It’s expensive and unnecessary and once you solved vision it’s worthless.”