Elon’s little car company just sent a progress update to shareholders letting them know the Tesla Semi would be unveiled on November 16th, and its cars Autopilot AI software was getting an upgrade that’ll bring them closer to full autonomy. Big things are happening for the company, even if earnings aren’t exactly wowing investors.
In the document the company revealed that updates to AI software were nearly ready for launch:
We continue to update our Autopilot software and recently made significant improvements to the Autosteer function. The Tesla AI team, which is fundamental to achieving full autonomy, strengthened dramatically this year, with a number of the world’s best AI engineers and researchers joining our company.
Tesla goes on to say that the goal of autonomy – cars that don’t need people – was closer than ever:
Now that the foundation of the Tesla vision neural net is right, which was an exceptionally difficult problem, as it must fit into far less computing power than is typically used, we expect a rapid rollout of additional functionality over the next several months and are progressing rapidly towards our goal of a coast-to-coast drive with no one touching the controls.
Earlier this year an investigation into a fatal accident involving Tesla’s Autopilot software revealed the vehicle failed to apply its built-in safety features due to an image detection issue. While the car itself did not cause the accident, it failed to prevent it – and the company has worked to ensure that doesn’t happen it again.
Tesla stock dropped a little over 3-percent quarter over quarter, the letter stated, citing production woes. It predicts a similar trend for quarter 4 due to an expected billion dollar expenditure to meet a milestone payment on the Model 3, and further expand projects such as its Supercharger network.
Finally, the company further teased the long awaited Tesla Semi:
At the unveiling of the Tesla Semi on November 16, 2017, we will demonstrate just how compelling electric drive will be for the global trucking industry. We look forward to showing you something truly incredible.
The Tesla Semi, an electric big rig, has the potential to disrupt America’s dependence on fossil fuels, or at least further the cause. We can’t wait to see what the truck of the future can do.
From where we’re sitting it looks like Musk and company are right on pace for a truly driverless car by 2021 – and it wouldn’t be surprising to see that updated to 2019 or 2020 before the end of this year.
By Tristan Greene