Elon Musk, who is the CEO and Founder of tesla has unveiled yesterday that Tesla is developing its own hardware in its bid to bring self-driving cars to the public in the industry soon. Up to now Tesla has used Nvidia’s Drive Platform, but this will be replaced by a new platform which is known as ‘Hardware 3,’ which will be, according to Tesla at least, the ‘world’s most advanced computer platform for autonomous driving.’
The Hardware 3 chip has been few years back only, with Jim Keller joining Tesla from chip manufacturer AMD back in the year 2016, and Musk confirming the project in the year 2017 December.
Keller has since left Tesla, and the Autopilot project – Tesla’s self-driving car initiative – is now being led by Pete Bannon. “The chips are up and working, and we have drop-in replacements for S, X and 3, all have been driven in the field,” Bannon said. “They support the current networks running today in the car at full frame rates with a lot of idle cycles to spare.”
Why has Tesla developed its own AI hardware?
By developing its own Artificial Intelligence(AI)hardware, Tesla is able to build the solutions which is simply tailored according to its needs. It means it is not just relying on the Nvidia to build what they need.
Bannon in a blog post explained “nobody was doing a bottoms-up design from scratch.” By bringing hardware in-house, Tesla will not only be able to develop chips according to its requirement, but it will also make it easier to plan and move according to their own choice.
How does Tesla’s Hardware 3 compare with other chips?
The hardware 3 chips are, according to the Elon, is 10x better than the current Nvidia GPUs. The current GPUs in Tesla’s Autopilot system can analyze 200 frames per second. Tesla’s new hardware can run on the frames of 2000 per second.
The hardware is expected to roll out by the end of the year 2019 and offered as a hardware upgrade to all owners of Autopilot 2.0 cars and up.