A Massive Supercomputer Controls Tesla’s Autopilot

Tesla is known for its propensity for cutting-edge technology. It seems that every other week Elon Musk is announcing some cool new feature that Teslas can do or will soon be able to do. As Tesla gets closer to showing the world their Dojo supercomputer, they gave us a glimpse of their new supercomputer. Tesla’s new supercomputer is massive, with amazing capabilities. 

Tesla's new supercomputer takes up a huge amount of space.
The new Tesla supercomputer | Electrek

What is Tesla’s new supercomputer?

Electrek reports that Tesla just revealed their new supercomputer, and it’s pretty incredible. It’s the fifth most powerful computer in the world, which by itself is an amazing piece of information. Think about all the computers in the world doing incredible things. Then consider that the Tesla supercomputer is even more powerful than those. 

Tesla’s new supercomputer is going to do big things for Tesla’s semi-autonomous self-driving system. In Teslas, this system is known as Autopilot, though as of yet it isn’t fully autonomous. Tesla is working on a fully autonomous system, called Full Self Driving (FSD), though it isn’t clear whether that will truly be fully autonomous, either. Elon Musk has said that self-driving will happen within a year and then backtracked, saying it’s “tricky.”

As Tesla moves toward more autonomous systems in their vehicles, supercomputers like the one just revealed are more important than ever. This most recent supercomputer is responsible for training the neural networks that Teslas use to learn how to operate independently. Neural networks collect information and share it within their network so that the computers may “learn.” This new Tesla supercomputer collects 4D images from Tesla onboard cameras, and trains the car to respond appropriately. 

Tesla’s new supercomputer also must run programs within the car, to operate everything that Teslas can do. 

What is the Dojo supercomputer?

Tesla’s new supercomputer is already almost old news. This is because Tesla is already building an even more amazing supercomputer, which they’re calling the Dojo project. The Dojo project was a secret, but as with many things in the automotive industry these days, it didn’t remain that way for long. Of course it didn’t help that Elon Musk talked about it and then tweeted about it. 

In fact, the Dojo project was first mentioned on Tesla’s Autonomy Day in 2019. Then, Musk said, “The goal of Dojo will be to be able to take in vast amounts of data and train at a video level and do unsupervised massive training of vast amounts of video with the Dojo program – or Dojo computer.”

Then, almost a year ago, Musk took to Twitter to announce that Tesla was looking for people to take part in the Dojo project. Tesla was looking for top AI or computer/chip people to help develop what would be a truly astonishing computer. 

The Dojo project will be how Tesla trains its FSD vehicles. Musk discussed how powerful it would be at the time, stating that it would be capable of an exaFLOP. An exaFLOP is basically a computer that can process an almost unthinkable amount of information in a very short amount of time. If you like computers, you’ll want to know that an exaFLOP can perform 10^18 (one quintillion/100,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second. 

What does this mean for Tesla?

A red Tesla Model 3 zips down the highway.
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

Tesla’s new supercomputer means that Tesla’s technology is becoming even more advanced. As Tesla gets closer to unveiling and utilizing the Dojo supercomputer, the rest of the world is still pretty impressed with their regular supercomputer.

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