Tesla is apparently working with computing manufacturer AMD to create its own chip to handle autonomous driving for its range of electric vehicles.
It seems that the plans are already in full swing too. Tesla has apparently already received samples of the chip and is running tests.
The reason for the move is currently unclear, but given Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s previous precedent of stepping in when progress isn’t developing at the pace he’d like, there is a possibility that the move comes as part of Musk’s plan for Tesla’s to be capable of complete autonomy by 2019.
On @Tesla autonomy, @TEDchris: "How long until you can get in your car, fall asleep, and wake up at your destination?" @elonmusk: "2 years."April 28, 2017
Standing on its own four wheels
Of course, it’s also possible that Tesla just wants to bring as much of its manufacturing processes in house to ensure that it has greater control over the manufacture and cost of its parts.
At present, Tesla’s Autopilot system relies on Nvidia GPUs. According to CNBC, Tesla previously used chips from Mobileye but ceased that relationship after an accident involving a Mobileye-powered Tesla.
The silicon manufacture process at Tesla is being led by Jim Keller, veteran chipmaker responsible for Apple A4 and A5 chips used in the fantastic iPhone 4 and 4S respectively. Interestingly, Keller is also a two time AMD veteran.
There’s no official comment yet from either AMD or Tesla, so we’ll just have to wait and see whether this development means we’re still on track for snooze-driving by 2019. As soon as we know, you will.
- Want to read about Tesla's upcoming vehicle? Check out: Tesla Model Y release date, news and rumors
Via The Verge
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Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.