Tesla’s former AI Director, Andrej Karpathy, recently made an appearance on Lex Fridman’s podcast. Karpathy is an AI researcher, engineer, educator and a founding member of OpenAI. He spoke with Fridman on a variety of topics, including AI, his departure from Tesla, and his interest in returning to the company.
Karpathy’s five-year tenure at Tesla was a pivotal part of the company's AI development. During his time with the company, he helped advance Tesla's self-driving system from lane-keeping on highways to partially autonomous driving on city streets.
After taking a four-month sabbatical, Karpathy parted ways with Tesla in July 2022. When Karpathy announced he was leaving Tesla, he said it was a difficult decision and thanked the Tesla Autopilot team, looking forward to seeing their momentum continue. Karpathy also stated that he wanted to spend more time on his long-term passions including AI technology, open source, and education.
From the podcast, we learned more details about what led to Karpathy's departure (1 hour, 44 minute mark). Apparently, his role at the company had developed into more of a managerial position, which drifted away from his passion for technical work in AI.
Karpathy said, “I think over time during those five years; I’ve kind of gotten myself into a little bit of a managerial position. Most of my days were, you know, meetings and growing the organization and making decisions about sort of high-level strategic decisions about the team and what it should be working on and so on.”
“And it’s kind of like a corporate executive role, and I can do it. I think I’m okay at it, but it’s not like fundamentally what I enjoy, and so I think when I joined, there was no computer vision team because Tesla was just going from the transition of using Mobileye, a third-party vendor, for all of its computer vision to having to build its computer vision system. So when I showed up, there were two people training deep neural networks.”
Elon Musk was quick to react to Karpathy's interview, stating on Twitter that "Andrej will always be welcome at Tesla."
Karpathy played a key role in Tesla's FSD development and it would be great to see him return for a second act. Based on his interview, it sounds like he may be interested in returning to Tesla to work on the Optimus, Tesla's humanoid robot.
You can watch Karpathy’s full interview with Lex Fridman below.
Tesla is getting ready to introduce WiFi garage door support to their vehicles through MyQ.
Since our article yesterday additional details have emerged about how MyQ will operate, which vehicles will be supported and whether there will be a cost to use the service. This information is based on a page that appeared briefly on MyQ's website but has since been removed.
MyQ's website stated that support for their garage door openers would be coming to the Model 3 and Model Y. While this makes a lot of sense because those vehicles don't include a HomeLink module, we'd be surprised if Tesla didn't also add support for the Model S and Model X.
Let's get cost out of the way. Although MyQ does not charge a fee today to remotely open and close their garage doors, they do plan on charging a fee to use their devices in vehicles. This could be looked at similarly to how some services are free to use on a PC but require a subscription to use on your mobile phone.
The price posted on MyQ's website was a five-year plan for $179, which is still cheaper than Tesla's $350 installation cost for HomeLink.
Unfortunately, this removes a big benefit we thought MyQ would have over buying a HomeLink module for the Model 3 or Model Y. For Model S and Model X owners who already have HomeLink included in their vehicles, it may not make as much sense.
However, MyQ does provide some advantages over HomeLink.
The good news is that MyQ integration will be very similar to HomeLink, and better in some ways. What appears to be a rendering of the feature working in a Tesla was also posted to their website which shows off a screen very similar to HomeLink.
On the MyQ settings screen, you'll have a list of supported devices on the left side, such as garage doors, gates and possibly lights, but we haven't see any evidence of the latter yet.
On the right side, you'll see options pertaining to the device selected, such as its current state, whether the garage door should auto-open or close and the distance when the device should be triggered.
You'll also be able to have the vehicle fold in its mirrors when reaching the target location.
If you've used HomeLink, this should all look very familiar since it's almost exactly the same. However, there are a couple of differences that give the advantage to MyQ.
The first is that MyQ is a smarter system and it knows the state of your garage door. So if you're arriving home and the garage door is already open, it won't try to close it on you.
The other advantage is distance. Since MyQ works over the internet you'll be able to trigger the garage door or gate from further down the driveway, giving the door plenty of time to fully open before you arrive.
MyQ supports an array of devices, but it waits to be seen whether there will be support for these additional devices such as lights and door locks.
Tesla requested more time for details to be kept confidential, and in doing so, everyone now knows something is up. A document dated November 18, 2022, appeared on Twitter on December 6. It’s from Tesla Inc. and addressed to the Federal Communications Commission. In the brief letter, Certification Engineer Cindy Li requests a 60-day extension of a previous agreement to keep a device secret. This mysterious letter set the Tesla sphere on fire with speculation to find out what is the secret device.
All we know from the letter is that model number 1541584 includes a user manual, internal photos, external photos, and test setup photos. Whatever this device is, it was going to be made public by the FCC on December 7, 2022. Tesla asked for an extension because the device will not be ready until mid-January 2023. The company wants to “avoid any unnecessary disclosure and competitive harm before our product launch…”
The poster of the letter, Twitter user @Taka87 reached out to well-known Tesla hacker @greentheonly, for some insight. The response: … something potentially major planned for mid-January which is just a bit over a month away... Like something that coincides with a sensor suite change.
That opens the door for the return of radar, which was removed last year and/or ultrasonic sensors, which Tesla just scrapped in October when it made the call to go completely with Tesla Vision. At that time, Tesla said in a statement: With today's software, this approach gives Autopilot high-definition spatial positioning, longer range visibility and the ability to identify and differentiate between objects. As with many Tesla features, our occupancy network will continue to improve rapidly over time.
There has also been a lot of speculation about HW4, where a high-resolution radar is believed to be part of the full self-driving sensor suite. HW4 goes as far back as the 2021 A.I. Day when Elon Musk said a new FSD computer would come out with the Cybertruck. This upgrade is now reportedly being developed by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC). It is expected to be much more powerful than the current hardware by as much as four times.
Elon has also previously commented on HD radar, saying "A very high-resolution radar would be better than pure vision, but such a radar does not exist. I mean vision with high-res radar would be better than pure vision."
An unidentified part, closely resembling a new radar was found on Tesla's Parts Catalog back in September by @GreenTheOnly. This mysterious item was marked but suspiciously not given a name, a part number or a description. However, given Green's experience with the inner workings of these vehicles, Green believes it is a new Tesla radar. In a follow-up tweet, he doubled down on his stance, saying the part matches the high-resolution radar Tesla registered with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in June.
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