The Next Wave of Autos: How Tesla Cars Use AI to Master the Driving Experience


Tesla cars are widely known as technologically advanced wonders, but how to do they do it? Here's a peek into how artificial intelligence plays a part.

Self Driving Cars

There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence is a burgeoning field destined to change the way we live. Tesla is no stranger to the AI debate. It's using artificial intelligence in Tesla cars to improve autonomous driving.

Thanks to popular culture, there is a general unfounded fear of artificial intelligence. People fear they may one day harm or take over humanity. Tesla hopes to dispel this fear.

How Tesla Cars AI Differs from Other Versions

Companies use artificial intelligence every day. Google uses RankBrain to help interpret the intentions of searchers. It’s used in predictive models for the stock market and many more areas you may not be aware of.

Tesla’s AI is different than any other. The company plans to use a neural net that examines the surroundings instead of using LIDAR and other sensing equipment.

Tesla wants to use computer vision.



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AI

Is changing the world

Computer Vision and Tesla Autopilot

Basically, computer vision is a method where computers receive digital images and video and then interpret them. The computer uses the images and extrapolates data such as what the image is, the distance, etc.

Scientists used it on the Mars Rover to navigate the environment on the planet. The rover isn’t going 60 miles per hour, but Tesla wants to use the same concept for their autonomous cars.

Instead of relying on maps and downloaded information, the AI receives real-time information. It uses that to determine the best course of action.

This includes interpreting the actions of nearby drivers to avoid collisions or keep impacts to a minimum.

The Inner Workings of Tesla Autopilot

The Tesla team works in two different divisions. One group builds the actual neural net and the other works on the programming for the net. It’s actually using several onboard cameras to gather the images, then programming interprets the data.

For example, if the car comes up to a traffic light, it must not only identify the color of the light, but also what to do with that information. It must understand that red means stop, green means go, and yellow means caution and then act.

The problem arises when the camera must pick up each individual light frequency with the same strength.

The Big Picture

Other types of autonomous cars drive specific routes and in a specific area. Tesla AI has the possibility of traversing any road and terrain in the world.

Currently, Tesla uses more than 350,000 robots in vehicles in various capacities, but none of them have full autonomy. The potential stretches quite far, for not only self-driving cars but all the way to fewer accidents and fatalities due to human error.

When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from anywhere.
— Elon Musk

AI Is the Future

The neural net in Tesla cars will be a game changer for artificial intelligence. The ability to interpret images in real time and react could have implications in every industry.