Insider sources confirmed that Elon Musk was recently out in Israel at the headquarters of Active Safety and Autonomous Driving tech company Mobileye. Mobileye has been a key supplier of Tesla since the early days and continues to be the core of Tesla’s autopilot hardware suite.
While in Israel, Musk allegedly viewed demonstrations of new Mobileye technology out in the field. With Elon Musk having already hinted at a coming upgrade to the autopilot suite to version 2.0, it follows that his trip and these demonstrations are precursor visits to new deals on next-gen hardware for Tesla’s high-tech electric vehicles.
Mobileye has 2 vehicles that are equipped with various technologies that are being tested. Though, the solution it is building for Tesla stands apart, utilizing an array of new sensors and artificial intelligence to identify unique features in the environment around the vehicle — pedestrians, vehicles, lane marking, and other obstacles.
Globes shares some great details about the Mobileye “Digital Neural Network,” which is the artificial intelligence nerve center of the solution:
“DNN (digital neural network), which enables the vehicle to “learn” by gathering data on the move, and even to identify different kinds of road surface; free-space, which enables the automatic vehicle’s systems to identify areas without defined objects such as hard shoulders of roads, sidewalks, and so on, and avoid collisions and deviations from the road; a “holistic path prediction”, which enables a vehicle to select the correct path – on an open road, for example – even when there are no visual hints in the environment; and a sign identification system that can identify over 1,000 signs and road markings in use around the world.”
Tesla is already utilizing a significant amount of this solution with collision avoidance, sign identification and interpretation, path prediction, and road marking awareness already being utilized in production vehicles today, but it is looking to the future, pushing towards fully autonomous driving as fast as it can on all fronts.
With Elon having claimed in October of 2015 that Level 4 autonomous — or completely autonomous driving — would be possible in 2 years, Tesla has set the bar very high. That’s normal for Tesla, as Elon and team typically shoot for — I would normally say the moon here, but he’s going for Mars so… um… they shoot really high — and tend to get close to or even nail their goals… a few months or years after the original target.
No specifics were revealed from the visit by either Tesla or Mobileye, but the real question is not what the details are… but when will we get to see them and will they be in the Model 3 at launch?