Nash from “Tesla in the Gong” shared a fun video on YouTube this week that covered the new Tesla software update (2021.24.5) along with an Autopilot challenge and some thoughts on the map data update. The Autopilot challenge covered a roundabout, off-ramp, straight stretch of road, another roundabout, and road works (road construction). The car had only one failure, a left turn fail.
One thing Nash wanted to see was if the new map update would include a new set of traffic lights that were installed.
As the car drove up to the first roundabout, Nash said that it would come to a halt (it did) and that it previously wouldn’t take the turn. The new update changed this a bit, but he still had to disable it and take over. So there’s progress. As he approached the lights, he was happy to see that the map had been updated to include them. He also added that in the car’s ability to recognize the traffic lights was artificial intelligence and not the map data.
Tesla is the only automaker that is fully embracing AI and is literally bringing its cars to life with advanced technology. When I was at Tesla’s AI Day event last month (seems a million years ago after going through Ida), Andrej Karpathy explained that Tesla was basically creating an animal.
“What I find kind of fascinating about this is we are effectively building a synthetic animal from the ground up. So the car can be thought of as an animal. It moves around, it senses the environment, acts autonomously and intelligently, and we are building all of the components from scratch and in-house.”
We can see snippets of Tesla’s progress reflected in each of its software updates.