In brief: Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained to a Twitter user that his self-driving cars won't have to be told where to go. Instead, they will predict your destination, potentially as part of the improved Autopilot system that Tesla promised to release before 2018.
A CAR THAT KNOWS YOU
Responding to a post on Twitter, Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk described how the artificial intelligence behind his company’s autonomous vehicles would be completely capable of bringing you where you want to go without asking you for a destination.
On Friday, Twitter user James Harvey suggested that Musk consider designing a vehicle that was able to simply ask you where you need to go once you hopped in.
The billionaire techpreneur replied that, apparently for future Teslas, the car will be able to predict your destination most of time without you having to say a word.
The Tesla Autopilot was one of the first working self-driving systems that ever hit the roads, first deployed on the Model S and then the Model X in 2014. Since then, the system has had a number of hardware and software upgrades and has saved lives in the process. The latest Autopilot hardware 2.0 was released on February, 2017, with a firmware update that followed in June.
TOWARDS TRUE AUTONOMY
Autonomous driving technology is surging forward thanks to the growing number of automakers, chipmakers, and even private research institutions working towards perfecting automated systems. Governments are also stepping up, either by allowing driverless car test drives or by coming up with guidelines to govern the technology. Today’s driverless systems are capable of learning enough to navigate through roads safely.
This explosion in the autonomous industry makes it easy to see why Musk is so confident in the capabilities of the next generation of self-driving cars.
As advanced as these systems are now, however, none are classified under what the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) considers to be Level 5 autonomy — even Tesla doesn’t have that yet, something General Motors was recently quick to point out.
However, a feature dubbed as HW 2.5 — an updated Autopilot hardware coupled with a new software — is expected to come out before the end of 2017. This, according to reports, will provide Tesla the necessary upgrades to attain Level 5 autonomy, and could potentially also equip Teslas with the ability to predict your destination, if Musk’s tweets are any indication.