Tesla's Elon Musk expects 'robotaxis' to start in United States next year

We agree that Tesla, and every other vehicle company, has a moral imperative to make transportation safer, and all companies should embrace the most important principle: preventing harm and saving lives.

The company said during the presentation that the Full Self-Driving hardware offered 144 TOPS of processing power, and Tesla said in a tweet that it "houses 6 billion transistors and is capable of processing up to 2300 frames per second - a 21x improvement over previous gen hardware".

Musk also responded to criticism that his cars skipped laser-based lidar sensors in favor of lower-cost radar sensors. Owners of Teslas with the company's self-driving computer could plug into an app-based network to pick up fare-paying passengers when they didn't need to use their vehicle.

The type of autonomous driving technology Tesla is pushing is predicted to be the inevitable standard, and the company's lead in the arena will likely increase even further as more of their vehicles take to the road. However, he was quick to acknowledge that Tesla would be held liable for any accident that happens on the road caused by a vehicle that is controlled by its autonomous driving system. "And anyone relying on Lidar is doomed", Musk said.

Mr Musk said its custom-designed chip was the best available and a significant milestone in self-driving. While there are still many years of legislative and moral wrangling before self-driving cars are launched in the real world, the application of the technology is incredible to watch.

Musk also unveiled on Monday a microchip for self-driving vehicles that the electric auto company hopes will give Tesla an edge over rivals and persuade investors its massive investment in autonomous driving will pay off.

Tesla released a similar video of a Model X driving autonomously in 2016, but the new video appears to be a single take, whereas the video from 2016 was edited.

FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory groundbreaking ceremony in Shanghai, China January 7, 2019.

Also, the two processors are powered separately, meaning if one fails the auto will still drive.

Taxi hailing company Uber is also planning the next generation of transportation - flying taxis.

"It's all hype", said Steven Shladover, a retired research engineer at the University of California-Berkeley who specializes in autonomous driving.

"Self-driving cars-which are key to new levels of safety, efficiency, and convenience-are the future of the industry". The system has automatic steering and cruise control but requires driver attention at the wheel. "They are great consumer vehicles with really good driver-assist technology".

On April 18 a judge extended by a week her deadline for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk to settle their dispute over his use of Twitter to discuss company developments.

  • Valerie Cook