Tesla recently released its second quarter earnings and alongside the report it slipped in the news that it’s building AI chips for advanced self-driving.
The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, said during the earnings call that the company is building, the Tesla Computer, or Hardware 3. This chip is designed to be swapped into Tesla’s existing fleet to improve the vehicles’ self-driving capabilities.
Musk clarified that the advantage of using their own chips is that they can run calculations on the bare metal of the chip itself. This is an improvement that allows programs to run faster and take advantage of all the available power on the chip.
The company has been relying on Nvidia’s Drive Platform. The third-party platform is able to handle about 200 frames per second, but Tesla says its chip will handle 2,000 frames a second.
The upgrade should be available to Tesla owners next year, said Pete Bannon, the director of the Hardware 3 project during the earnings call.
Having its own chips could also make it easier for Tesla to move at their own pace without having to wait for software or hardware upgrades from a third party.