Tesla has had preliminary talks to license software to companies
- Elon Musk said Tesla has had preliminary discussions to license its software with other automakers.
- The CEO has said in the past that he is not looking to get ahead of other competitors, but rather simply to advance technology.
- Musk said the “fully autonomous driving” software could be operational without an operator within a year, reaching range level 5.
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company was in early talks to share its autonomous driving software with other manufacturers during an earnings call on Wednesday.
“We have had preliminary discussions about licensing Autopilot to other OEMs,” Musk said on the call.
Musk stressed that the company is not looking to keep the software to itself, but is waiting for the service to become more reliable before sharing it with outside companies.
“We probably need to do a little more work to prove that the autopilot is capable of fully autonomous driving,” Musk said. “Then we are more than happy to license other automakers.”
The CEO has said in the past that he is not looking to get ahead of other competitors, but rather simply to advance technology.
The software was released in public beta for a select group of consumers – Musk said it was around 1,000 – in October. The software still requires a licensed human operator, although Musk said he hopes it may be capable of Level 5 battery life within a year.
“The software is improving dramatically,” Musk said.
When the feature entered public beta, users quickly reported several errors, with YouTube videos showing the software missing intersections and boulevards.
Musk says Tesla is focused on improving Tesla’s neural network through 3D labeling, collecting videos, and tagging items so the program can learn.
“We believe we have the best neural network training software in the world by order of magnitude,” said Musk.
Tesla’s plan is to create a car that will drive better and be more reliable than the average human.
Tesla isn’t the only company pursuing full automation. In October, Waymo, a subsidiary of Google, launched a fully autonomous ride service in Phoenix. General Motors, Volkswagen and Ford have also pushed for autonomous vehicles, Volkswagen and Ford have teamed up to support Argo Ai, an autonomous driving technology company.
The company has clashed in the past with other automakers pursuing fully automated vehicles. Recently, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said Tesla was “not a competition at all” when it came to making self-driving vehicles.
However, Musk said he believes the company could deliver on its promise of a fully automated system sooner rather than later.
“From my perspective, it looks like a very clear and obvious path to a vehicle that will drive safer than a person,” Musk said. “I don’t really see any obstacles here.”