Andrej Karpathy took to Twitter to announce he's leaving Tesla. The 35-year-old was the senior director of artificial intelligence and was a key part of the Autopilot team.
He did not explain why he was going; instead, he praised his team's work on Autopilot's development.
The tweet reads: It's been a great pleasure to help Tesla towards its goals over the last 5 years and a difficult decision to part ways. In that time, Autopilot graduated from lane keeping to city streets, and I look forward to seeing the exceptionally strong Autopilot team continue that momentum.
Elon Musk responded to his tweet: Thanks for everything you have done for Tesla! It has been an honor working with you.
Within minutes of these tweets, media outlets and industry observers started to speculate about the future of Tesla's FSD. Karpathy was a significant part of the team tasked with improving FSD and making it available to every Tesla owner in North America by the end of 2022.
Just 35 minutes after he tweeted he was leaving, he addressed the gossip with another tweet. It reads: Important to keep in mind that the Autopilot team is hundreds of strong engineers who very much know what they're doing, just don't have my public visibility. I was only one part of that effort, and I think get an outsized spotlight cast on me because I do.
Karpathy, a Ph.D. from Stanford University, was on a four-month sabbatical. His departure comes just days after Tesla closed its San Mateo, California office laying off 229 data annotation employees who were part of the Autopilot team. The layoffs were expected after Musk announced a hiring freeze and a 10 percent workforce cut in June.
Andrej says he doesn't have any plans for what he'll do next, but that he plans to spend additional time with his passions of AI, open source and education.
Whole Mars Catalog, among others, questioned how significant Karpathy's departure was to the company. "It's not bullish, but people are vastly overblowing it," tweeted Whole Mars Catalog. "Elon knew this would happen and that's why he started highlighting in early 2021 that Ashok (Elluswamy) was the lead on Autopilot software, not Andrej."
Nobody stays forever. Life goes on.
Elluswamy was hired as the team director of Autopilot in 2015. At the time of his hiring, Musk said he was the first person recruited for the Autopilot team.
Tesla's first electric semi-truck will have a range of 500 miles and begin shipping this year, according to a tweet from Elon Musk, founder and CEO. Musk previously said that the model would be on roads in 2023, as well as Tesla's pickup truck, dubbed the Cybertruck. The projected arrival date for the Cybertruck has not changed.
The Tesla Semi Truck, which was unveiled in November 2017, is designed for long-haul trucking. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 20 seconds when hauling a full load, which is faster than most diesel trucks.
The Tesla Semi Truck's range of 500 miles on a single charge constitutes more than double the range of the current longest-range electric truck on the market, the Daimler eCascadia, which has a range of 230 miles.
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
The Tesla Semi Truck is also significantly cheaper to operate than a diesel truck, Tesla has said. The company estimates that it will cost $1.26 per mile to operate the Tesla Semi, compared to $1.51 per mile for a diesel truck.
Since the company started taking orders for the truck in 2017 some of the most sizable orders have come from the likes of UPS, Walmart, and PepsiCo. The original deposit required with an order was $5,000, which was increased to $20,000 after the event in November 2017.
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
The company has not said how many trucks it plans to produce but based on past statements from Tesla we can expect the price of regular production versions for the 300-mile (480 km) and 500-mile (800 km) range versions to be $150,000 and $180,000 USD respectively.
Tesla's Semi Truck is part of the company's push to electrify the transportation sector, which is responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions. Tesla also makes electric cars and SUVs, and it plans to start producing its electric truck next year. Tesla's ultimate goal is to transition the world to sustainable energy.
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla Semi Event
Tesla unveiled the Tesla Semi and the Tesla Roadster in late 2017. The entire event is below:
Tesla may be building out a feature for vehicle-to-vehicle communication
Tesla recently wrapped up its 2022 annual shareholders meeting, and CEO Elon Musk hinted at a potentially exciting feature coming to the fleet: vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
Towards the end of the shareholders’ meeting, a gentleman in the audience mentioned how aircrafts use a system called Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS). He elaborated on how ACAS relays an aircraft’s telemetry to prevent a collision.
“Sometimes too much telemetry,” Musk adds and laughs, assumingly referencing the Twitter account that tracks his private jet.
“Do you see Teslas communicating with one another and Dojo turning into some kind of air traffic control for Tesla supply chains and Robotaxi?” adds the gentleman.
Musk answered by saying he hasn’t thought about that before, which is interesting. He added that the goal with Dojo is to be the de facto computer for training the neural net with videos.
“Oh. That’s an interesting idea. I haven’t thought about that,” Musk responds. “Right now our goal with Dojo is to be really good at video training. We have probably the fourth or approaching the third, most powerful computing center in the world for AI training. Our first goal with Dojo is to make it competitive and be more effective at neural net training than a whole bunch of GPUs. We might get there… soonish.”
Musk also added that Dojo is built “from the ground up” to train AI using videos, and building such a computer has never been done before.
This question got Musk’s mind going. He paused for a moment and said there may be some difficulties in getting Teslas to communicate with one another - and it won’t be needed with Full Self-Driving.
“There will be some merits for Teslas to communicate [with] each other, but that won’t be needed for Full Self-Driving at all,” Musk responds. “But for a long time the vast majority of cars will be manually driven, so the value of Tesla-to-Tesla communication is not that high, except for, perhaps, communicating traffic issues, accidents, potholes, and road closures. A Tesla ahead of you has seen a road closure and you get that real-time update to your car so you don’t get stuck in the road closure situation. That’s the stuff that we are working on right now.”
Elon Musk's Answer
In January of 2022, Twitter user and Tesla enthusiast @BLKMDL3 tweeted at Musk asking about this type of feature. “Hey @elonmusk, can we get the air suspension in Model S/X to automatically raise quickly if the car detects a dip in the road ahead and then remember the location for next time?” BLKMDL3 writes. “Would be an awesome feature to have!”
Musk responded with, “Yeah.”
Hey @elonmusk, can we get the air suspension in Model S/X to automatically raise quickly if the car detects a dip in the road ahead and then remember the location for next time? Would be an awesome feature to have!
BLKMDL3’s tweet received quite a bit of attention.
Tesla has recently rolled out updates to improve a vehicle’s ability to raise and lower its suspension when arriving at a specific location. This is so the vehicle doesn’t scuff the pavement and cause damage to its underbody.
Since Musk stated that he hasn’t thought about vehicle-to-vehicle communication or how it would be done, we don’t anticipate this feature rolling out anytime soon. However, we can hope that it gets added to the pipeline of upcoming features due to its seemingly positive reception and want for it. This could also increase the safety of Tesla’s vehicles, even though they’re already the safest cars on the road.
It would be nice for vehicles within a 5-10 mile radius to notify one another of a construction zone, or accident, similar to Waze. This would allow the vehicle to reroute to a more efficient route or handle the situation accordingly. Going a step further, it would be exceptionally cool to see snapshots or videos of the upcoming situation by seeing a “hotspot” in maps, similar to how Snapchat shows hotspots, that are recorded via the vehicle’s cameras to more accurately prepare for it. But this may open a can of worms in regards to privacy.
Turning Tesla’s fleet into a mobile social network may go against Musk’s vision. He’s stated before that any user input in the vehicle should be considered an error, so having an interactive feature such as this may not be in Tesla’s deck of cards.
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