Tesla CEO Elon Musk provided some valuable insights into the development of the Silicon Valley automaker’s self-driving software known as Autopilot Full Self-Driving or FSD in short.
The current fleet of ~2,000 FSD Beta testers are running version number 8.3 or later of this software. This past Friday, in response to an FSD Beta testing video, Musk said that the next major version of FSD Beta is almost complete, this is going to be the highly anticipated V9.0.
The majority of these FSD Beta self-driving testers are existing Tesla owners who already own the Full Self-Driving software package, which the automaker sells separately for $10,000. Tesla is also hiring professionals from time to time to help develop and test the FSD program, the Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) Engineering Technician positions are the ones you would be interested in joining this team.
An FSD Beta tester posted videos on Twitter where he tested his car self by handing over his Tesla Model 3 to Autopilot. The trip starts in a parking lot and according to the owner, the car took him to his destination without any intervention, to which Musk replied:
Almost ready with FSD Beta V9.0. Step change improvement is massive, especially for weird corner cases & bad weather. Pure vision, no radar.Elon Musk on Twitter
Very interesting developments are popping out of Tesla’s relentless quest for fully autonomous cars. At first, Elon Musk and his FSD software development team at Tesla were fully convinced that the use of Lidar is totally unnecessary, now radar is also going away.
Another Tesla enthusiast asked about the future of the radar in Tesla vehicles and Musk said that it will be removed.
This implies that Tesla has now reached the tipping point where it no longer needs the data from the forward-facing radar to make driving decisions. Tesla has already started a massive migration of making driving decisions based on neural nets instead of programming logic.
Tesla is also the sole automotive or software company that has billions upon billions of miles of driving decision-making and video data which is gathered by its close to 1.5 million vehicles on global roads.
If Tesla is able to deploy the Full Self-Driving on city streets in the near future, it will alone soar the company’s stock (TSLA) to unimaginable heights. Tesla is aiming to produce 1 million vehicles this year — by next year or so, even if 1 million owners opt to buy the $10k FSD package, this will bring $10B in hard cash within a short period of time. A disruption that Musk is so determined to make.