Correction to article: "The First Person to Hack the iPhone Built a Self-Driving Car"
Published on December 16, 2015
The article by Ashlee Vance did not correctly represent Tesla or MobilEye. We think it is extremely unlikely that a single person or even a small company that lacks extensive engineering validation capability will be able to produce an autonomous driving system that can be deployed to production vehicles. It may work as a limited demo on a known stretch of road -- Tesla had such a system two years ago -- but then requires enormous resources to debug over millions of miles of widely differing roads.
This is the true problem of autonomy: getting a machine learning system to be 99% correct is relatively easy, but getting it to be 99.9999% correct, which is where it ultimately needs to be, is vastly more difficult. One can see this with the annual machine vision competitions, where the computer will properly identify something as a dog more than 99% of the time, but might occasionally call it a potted plant. Making such mistakes at 70 mph would be highly problematic.
We should also clarify that Tesla’s autopilot system was designed and developed in-house. Were this simply a matter of repackaging a vendor’s technology, as claimed in the article, we would not be unique in offering this groundbreaking experience in production vehicles. If other car companies could meet or exceed the Tesla product by buying an off-the-shelf solution, they would do so.
Tesla Autopilot includes radar, ultrasonics, GPS/nav, cameras and real-time connectivity to Tesla servers for fleet learning. Going forward, we will continue to use the most advanced component technologies, such as MobilEye’s vision chip, in our vehicles. Their part is the best in the world at what it does and that is why we use it.