Autonomous Driving Developments


There is a race on amongst the major vehicle manufacturers in the world to develop the first autonomous driving car. The advent of autonomous driving is being driven by the rampant development of AI and on board computers that are small enough but powerful enough to process everything required for the car to be able to drive safely.

A recognised leader in the field of autonomous driving is Tesla the electric vehicle company. They have had some sort of autonomy built into all of their vehicle fleet, and for the past year all of their new vehicles have a number of cameras installed in subtle locations plus radar and sonar plus an NVidia onboard computer that is in reality a watercooled supercomputer. Tesla is a Silicon Valley company in the truest sense, and they have software Engineers from around the world wanting to work for them. Their autonomous driving team looks to be the most competent on the planet, and all the vehicle fleet of over 150,000 vehicles are collecting snapshot images plus driving the car in shadow mode, and feeding back all of the data collected including any exceptional information to the Tesla servers everyday.

Tesla is able to compare this information and the performance of the computer shadow driver to the performance of the actual driver, and then have their AI system learn from any of the mistakes or tweaks. What this means is that the Tesla autonomous driving technology is learning everyday from 150,000 vehicles worldwide about how to drive correctly over every single stretch of road in all the countries that Tesla sells vehicles.

Tesla is obviously doing tests internally on the quality of the data that they are developing, and when they know that the quality is exceptionally good and able to deliver an 8 to 10 times safer driving experience, then they can download it overnight to their entire vehicle fleet via over the air update. No other company has this updating capability.

At that point the entire modern Tesla fleet will be equipped with the autonomous driving capability, and all that will remain will be for the regulators to allow for autonomous driving. Most regulators will be very keen, simply because it will create a spike in productivity and GDP because it will drive so much cost away from the automobile driving public, plus it will drive costs away because of the vastly safe operation. All other vehicle manufacturers must be praying that Tesla does not get a jump start on them, but at this stage in the development it looks very much like that is exactly what was going to happen.