Elon Musk announced that Tesla will be hosting an AI hackathon, together with the company’s artificial intelligence and autopilot team, at his house in four weeks’ time.
The Tesla chief announced his plans via Twitter on Sunday. Despite impressive numbers revealed during the Q4 2019 earnings call and update, Musk and his Tesla team are not resting on their laurels and remain focused on pursuing advancements to its neural network, which is in the center of Tesla’s goal of achieving a full self-driving vehicle.
During the recent Q4 earnings call, an investor asked the Tesla chief executive for updates on FSD.
“I think that’s looking like maybe it’s going to be couple of months from now. And what isn’t obvious regarding Autopilot and Full Self-Driving is just how much work has been going into improving the foundational elements of autonomy,” Musk said.
Tesla will hold a super fun AI party/hackathon at my house with the Tesla AI/autopilot team in about four weeks. Invitations going out soon.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 2, 2020
Musk continued to explain how the Tesla team is making great strides in labeling efficiency.
“…in terms of labeling, labeling with video in all eight cameras simultaneously. This is a really, I mean in terms of labeling efficiency, arguably like a three order of magnitude improvement in labeling efficiency. For those who know about this, it’s extremely fundamental, so that’s really great progress on that,” Musk said.
Tesla vehicles rely on a custom chip that boasts of 144 tera operations per second (TOPS) for its self-driving capabilities. This two-chip FSD computer works in tandem with LPDDR4 RAM modules that come with a peak bandwidth of 68 GB/s. There are also two neural network accelerators that work in tandem to process as much as 1TB of data per second. This setup is roughly three times faster, about 80%, and about 1.25 times more power-efficient than the previous hardware. It is also able to process about 2,300 frames per second compared to the 110 frames per second processed by Tesla’s Hardware 2.5.
In his series of tweets on Sunday, Musk also mentioned Tesla’s “Dojo” supercomputer, which is speculated to be capable of processing vast amounts of data to train the company’s neural network. Through active learning, Tesla curates the most useful video clips from its fleet of connected cars and train the neural net to recognize things that it did not previously know.
“Our networks learn from the most complicated and diverse scenarios in the world, iteratively sourced from our fleet of nearly 1M vehicles in real-time. A full build of Autopilot neural networks involves 48 networks that take 70,000 GPU hours to train. Together, they output 1,000 distinct tensors (predictions) at each timestep,” Tesla wrote on the Autopilot AI section of its website.
“At Tesla, using AI to solve self-driving isn’t just icing on the cake, it the cake” – @lexfridman
Join AI at Tesla! It reports directly to me & we meet/email/text almost every day. My actions, not just words, show how critically I view (benign) AI.https://t.co/iF97zvYZRz
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 2, 2020
The last major software update rolled out by Tesla allowed its vehicles to visualize more things while driving in inner-city streets. Teslas now render stoplights, stop signs, traffic cones, traffic pylons, and more.
With the upcoming AI hackathon, Tesla will get together with developers to seek out more efficient algorithms and overall improvements to the core logic for its Full Self-Driving suite through a time-boxed event. With fresh eyes working with the existing AI and autopilot team of Tesla, the carmaker may be able to accelerate the timeline and rollout of its full-featured Full Self-Driving suite sooner.
Further advances in FSD and its Autopilot feature will widen the gap between Tesla and its competitors and solidify the company’s position as one of the leading automakers in the world. These improvements will also take Tesla a step closer to the possibility of Robotaxis that they can deploy at scale.
The hackathon will also allow Tesla to fish for new AI talents to join the team. On Sunday, Musk also mentioned that the electric carmaker is looking for world-class chip designers and C++/C engineers for vehicle control and other functions of Tesla vehicles.
Musk reiterated that educational attainment is not important when joining Tesla but rather a clear understanding of how AI and neural networks function and the ability to build useful applications using that knowledge.