Posted on March 18, 2015 by Matt Pressman
Yesterday, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang interviewed Tesla CEO Elon Musk at their GPU Technology Conference. The two have a unique alliance as you'll find Tesla is already using NVIDIA’s Tegra chips, and, Huang remarked that they are being pushed to the limit by newer software updates to the Model S. “What NVIDIA is doing with Tegra is really interesting and really important for self-driving in the future,” explained Musk.
This fascinating interview really showcases Tesla's unique advantage as a car (and car company) so focused on software, software engineering, and computing prowess. This future-forward focus positions Tesla Motors as the leader in the coming self-driving car evolution fast-approaching the automotive industry. For the complete interview, check out the video below.
What were some of the highlights?
Elon Musk's views on self-driving cars: “Autonomy is about what level of reliability, of safety, do you want?” explained Musk. “Even with the current sensor suite [in Tesla Model S], we could make the car go fully autonomous, but not to a level of reliability that would be safe in say a complex urban environment.”
“The [Tesla Model S] car that you have, the features are steadily improving,” Musk continued. "You now have active cruise control, so it will use active radar to track the car in front of you. It’s also looks at the brake lights...it’s going to get smarter and smarter, even with the current hardware suite.”
When discussing self-driving challenges ahead, Musk noted: “Highway cruise is easy, low speed is easy, it’s medium [speed] that's hard. Being able to recognize what you’re seeing and make the right decision in that suburban environment in that 10 mph to 50 mph zone is the challenging portion.”
However, Musk seemed resolute that self-driving cars will go fully autonomous, "It would be like an elevator. They used to have elevator operators, and then we developed some simple circuitry to have elevators just automatically come to the floor that you're at ... the car is going to be just like that."