Tesla shows off self-driving technology to investors

Elon Musk Tesla announcement

"They are going to dump Lidar", Musk assured investors and analysts gathered at Tesla's Palo Alto, California, office for the 2 1/2 hour presentation. The electric-car maker is due to release first-quarter earnings after USA stock markets close on April 24. Tesla also made the claim that its new FSD computer is 7x faster than hardware available from rival companies (namely NVIDIA), offering 144 TOPS compute performance.

But self-driving auto experts fear Musk is shirking public safety in an effort to boost Tesla's stock and sell more of the company's electric cars. The annual meeting is to be held on June 11. The timing of that will depend on when the company can overcome software, regulatory, and business challenges, but Musk said he feels confident that Tesla will have 1 million robotaxis (without human safety drivers) on the road next year.

This quarter, he said Tesla would have 500,000 vehicles on the road, each equipped with eight cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar-gathering data to help build the company's neural network, which will serve as the digital equivalent of the self-driving cars' consciousness. He said it was improbable but true that Tesla had designed the industry's best self-driving chip, saying Tesla's was dedicated for autonomous driving, while others, like Nvidia Corp, developed chips that could do other things as well. While there are still many years of legislative and moral wrangling before self-driving cars are launched in the real world, the application of the technology is incredible to watch. "It's like having a whole bunch of expensive appendices, one appendix is bad, well why have a whole bunch of them, that's ridiculous".

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Musk has been predicting fully self-driving cars are "only a couple of years away" for some time now.

Tesla already has been offering a system called "Autopilot" that can control cars on a limited basis with constant monitoring by a human driver.

The agency also is still investigating the two other lethal crashes, one last month in Delray Beach, Florida, eerily similar to the 2016 Florida crash, and another involving a Tesla SUV that was operating on Autopilot when it hit a highway lane-dividing barrier in Silicon Valley. I mean, fine if you want to own a horse. Coming later in 2019 is the ability to recognize traffic lights and stop signs, and perform automatic driving on city streets, Tesla says.

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Tesla's use of the term "full self-driving" garners criticism, as it sells such an option today that is not yet "Level 4", or fully autonomous by industry standards, in which the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in most circumstances with no human intervention.

"People will die", Rajkumar predicted.

Tesla's vehicles are not yet at the standard of autonomy needed to earn the tag "self-driven".

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