Tesla’s Autopilot Is The Frontrunner In Vehicle Autonomy

Tesla Autopilot

AUG 5 2017 BY EVANNEX 27


All Tesla vehicles come equipped with the full set of hardware necessary for second-generation Autopilot and full self-driving.


At the intersection of self-driving tech and artificial intelligence, lies the future of personal transport. And Tesla continues to lead the industry as it collects billions of miles of data collected from Tesla’s fleet. Now, according to Charlotte Hu at Teslarati*:

“At the end of June, [Tesla’s Elon] Musk hired Andrej Karpathy as the new Director of Artificial Intelligence at Tesla, and MIT Technology Review claims it is the start of a plan to rethink automated driving at Tesla.”

Tesla Model 3

CEO Elon Musk assured that the Tesla Model 3 will be equipped with same level of Autopilot technology as Model S and X vehicles.

Electrek recently reported that Karpathy explained Tesla’s advantage in the following manner: “The Tesla fleet is like a large, distributed, mobile data center. Each machine is attached to a big battery, a person, and moves very fast.”

For more insight into Karpathy, check out a presentation he did on visualizing and understanding recurrent neural networks.

Above: Karpathy discusses ‘Recurrent Network Language Models for Dense Image Captioning’ at the RE-Work Deep Learning Summit in San Francisco (Youtube: RE•WORK)

Tesla’s latest hire is bound to have an immediate impact.

According to Hu, “Karpathy will be a notable asset for Tesla’s Autopilot team…. [which] will be able to apply Karpathy’s deep knowledge of reinforcement learning systems. Reinforcement learning for AI is similar to teaching animals via repetition of a behavior until a positive outcome is yielded. This type of machine learning will allow Tesla Autopilot to navigate complex and challenging scenarios.”

What differentiates Tesla from other players in the self-driving space? “While other companies are investing heavily in autonomous fleets, Tesla far outpaces them in terms of data collection and release of finished product.” And most recently, “With the introduction of Autopilot 2.0 and Tesla’s ‘Vision’ system, and billions of miles real-world driving data collected by Model S and Model X drivers, Tesla continues to create a detailed 3D map of the world that has increasingly finer resolution as more vehicles are purchased, delivered and placed onto roadways.”

For a broad overview of how Tesla’s Autopilot tech works, see the infographic below…


*Source: TeslaratiElectrek / Infographic: Instamotor

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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27 Comments on "Tesla’s Autopilot Is The Frontrunner In Vehicle Autonomy"

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Front runner?

Let me tell about 44 competitors:


And that list is far from complete!

How many of those systems are in cars I can sit in today?

Until they get to that point nobody wants to hear how “ahead” they might be.

No car sold today, including Tesla, is autonomous. Hard to tell who is ahead of whom.

But easy to tell who is behind. If you have no cars on the road, or just one or two, you are behind. Road conditions are so varied that there is no way you have a mature solution without lots of data.

Nvidia, MobilEye/Intel and all other suppliers are selling their HW to anyone…

If you think Tesla is ahead you are not paying attention.

Other companies simply don’t release Beta HE and SW to gullible customers…

PS: Anyone calling me a troll simply hasn’t read the link I procided above.

You are a serial Tesla bashing troll. You never post here except to bash Tesla, and whether or not anything you post happens to be entirely false or half-true is entirely irrelevant to you.

By the same token, the fact that what you post occasionally, by chance, happens to include a half-truth or two, should be irrelevant to readers here.

Tesla stopped using MobilEye and have developed their own software. That put them back many months but they now control their own destiny instead of being reliant upon what MobilEye would deliver.

By what I hear, Tesla wanted to be much more aggressive than MobilEye. That can be a good and bad thing thing. We’ll see how that plays out.

You were a troll on TMC, and you’re trolling here.


Do you actually read the links you post? Probably not. This list reinforce the argument that tesla is the frontunner.

You’ve just moved your nonsensical comments from TMC to here, tftf?

Always with the future competitors that just don’t quite pan out…but you keep pushing this same tired garbage.

LMFAO, how much money have you lost shorting Tesla you troll?

I am surprised he is still alive!

It ceases to amaze me how people can hold steadfast to a position that has been proven wrong over and over again.

https://electrek.co/2017/08/04/vw-brand-ceo-sees-tesla-as-vws-main-competitor/ looks like the shorts are going to sponsor a lot of optioned out model 3’s in the near future

Curious to know how autonomous cars without drivers communicate with other (non-)autonomous car( driver)s in case they have to negotiate about an unclear traffic situation.
To me this happens almost always when driving in inner city traffic. Often I have to anticipate the problem of a situation and although I have priority make way for others to avoid a dead-end traffic mate. I show them how I will act by signing through the windshield or by flashing.

Wow, highly recommend watching the Andrej Karpathy video insideevs embedded. Thanks for another great article insideevs! Amazing how these deep learning algorithms have progressed over the years. Several years ago I recall Google image search being able to search with text to pull up images was a big deal. Karpathy’s talk from 2016 showed off the capability to detect and label smallest details in busy images e.g. white laptop on table, Jean pant of leg, etc. He only sampled 20 per image because otherwise the box and label overlays would look too busy. Another impressive capability was the ability to describe images in sentence form “man smiling while riding a bike and doing a fist pump” and to search for images of giraffe heads or zebra legs. Also very cool breakdown of how the narrow AI is able to analyze language such as Shakespeare’s poetry and then formulate its own. With millions of autopilot miles being added daily capturing images of all the objects one may see on or near a road and then analyzing/classifying them with increasing accuracy I more clearly then ever understand that full autonomy is only a few years away and legislation will be the biggest… Read more »

Re: Tesla continues to create a detailed 3D map of the world that has increasingly finer resolution as more vehicles are purchased, delivered and placed onto roadways [i.e. customer cars contribute to database map via things like HD short videos]

It is interesting to comparing what Tesla can do ad hoc on various highways and roads vs other companies like GM Cadillac CT6 requiring pre-mapped roads for Super Cruise. ie. specialized other vehicles with LIDAR create maps on some divided highways and only those highways are what Super Cruise enabled vehicles can travel on. Google search: super cruise cadillac ct6

Tesla probably is ahead of most competitors but I think we are still pretty far away from full autonomy. He’s probably gonna end up with egg on his face with that claim of a coast to coast drive this year.

Autonomy will happen and most humans will eventually be banned from driving since they suck. But it will take a while. GPS is not precise enough, video analysis is very hard, and the current hardware is probably not enough.

I think they’ll need better sensors and more computing power than they are currently putting in the cars.

But as I always say, I hope to be proven wrong. (And I am completely certain that it will eventually happen.)

The title of this article is inaccurate. It is debatable which manufacturer is leading in autonomous driving but to use only pro-Tesla sources as evidence is misleading. Within a few month Autopilot can’t even be debated as the best semi-autonomous system available as every Cadillac Supercruise article has pretty much confirmed it is a better system in regards to safety. Please stop with the misleading and biased headlines. Tesla offers a good system when used correctly but stop pretending they are leading the industry in everything they do.

Name one production car that you can buy now that has a better system…i want to go out and test it…seriously!

That wasn’t the topic of the article or the focus of my comment. Telsa’s system is a solid offering, at least the one using the Mobileye components, not considering the safety concerns with people being able to easily trick the system. I have no problem people liking Autopilot but there is no evidence Tesla are leading the industry. I think your stance about what is currently available is silly considering the system I mentioned is production ready and will be available in a couple months, not some dream or FUD. Also, the topic of the article is future potential and Tesla is constantly receiving credit for things they have yet to do. Lastly, I do find it concerning that Tesla puts out a system they openly call a Beta that has so many safety concerns and instead of being proactive, like Supercruise and geofencing the system to the areas where it should be used, they just pass blame to their customers. If you don’t want people misusing the system, don’t allow them to. Negligent people are not only endangering themselves but the people on the road around them when they choose to use Autopilot on roads Tesla explicitly states it’s… Read more »

Agree. Govts have requested the Autopilot name be changed because it fools customers. Tesla refuses, due to hubris etc. The first casualty of this was in China due to it totally failing to see the fast lane left side concrete barrier. No Mapping is gonna save you from that. Unless the system is 99.999% and more foolproof, Tesla customers are the ones rolling the dice.
If Elon Musk or anyone wants to russian roulette their life And their family with 1/100000 odds on dying, I hope they have a great life insurance policy.

“The thing to keep in mind is that self-driving cars don’t have to be perfect to change the world. They just have to be better than human beings.” — Deepak Ahuja, CFO of Tesla Inc.

Oh, and that case of a fatal accident in China? You don’t know if that Tesla car was under the control of Autopilot, any more than I do. All we know is the family of the deceased claimed it was, but refuses to allow Tesla to examine the car.

What you’re doing here is just repeating an unconfirmed claim against Tesla, because you want to bash Tesla whether it’s true or not. And that makes you a troll, not a “mystery”.

Ah, but you leave out the vVERY important detail that for supercruis to work fully ALL mits roads must be premapped, wheareas Tesla cars are driving around and doing this automatically.

So based on that fact, which system is better?

I don’t believe that’s accurate and GM worked with a company to create Lidar maps of all divided interstate roads in the US before they released the product, so that’s a non-issue in the US. The system is more than capable of working on the fly similar to Autopilot but they chose to not rely solely on that to make Supercruise safer. The Lidar mapping is more of a redundant safety feature. I also believe it could be argued that because they used a Lidar to map all the interstates in the US that Supercruise has more detailed and accurate environmental info than Tesla, even with all their cars constantly collecting data. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Lidar is widely known as the best way to create the most accurate and detailed maps of the environment for autonomous car development, which is why most companies developing autonomous technologies use it save Tesla.

Much as I’m impressed with the rapid advancement of Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system, at the same time I rather suspect that who is “ahead” in this race is a matter of carefully selecting which metrics you choose to look at, and how much weight you give to each.

Tesla certainly has a much larger fleet collecting data, but it’s Waymo — not Tesla — which has test cars which don’t even have a steering wheel.

I don’t think that either Tesla or Waymo, or anybody else, is actually all that close to full autonomy.

Even if Tesla does manage to perform its coast-to-coast autonomous driving demo late this year, it’s just going to be a case of retracing a route carefully scanned and tested in advance. It’s still going to be a long way from a car being able to drive itself on any paved public road under most driving conditions, day or night, rain or shine, including road construction zones.

Yeah, it is REALLY hard to judge who is “ahead”. But Tesla is certainly one of the most aggressive companies in this space and is pushing it hard. I wouldn’t be surprised if they take a lead if they are not already there since they do their own software now and they have a lot of equipped cars on the road collecting data & sending it back.