mercoledì 21 settembre 2016

Elon Musk News - Tesla Autopilot 8.0 uses radar to prevent accidents like the fatal Model S crash 🚗✈📶

"I think this [autopilot 8.0 update] is quite a massive enhancement, I wish we could have done it earlier, but the perfect is the enemy of the good."

Elon Musk News


Here are the top 3 stories in this issue of Elon Musk News:
  1. Upgrading Autopilot: Seeing the World in Radar
  2. Tesla Autopilot 8.0 uses radar to prevent accidents like the fatal Model S crash
  3. Did a UFO Sabotage the SpaceX Falcon 9 Test?
After a busy few weeks for Elon Musk, Tesla has finally published their blog post on Autopilot 8.0. In a call with journalists on Sunday, Elon stated that this software update will use radar (instead of cameras) as the primary sensor, and rely heavily on fleet learning. The sum of these changes is a three times potential increase in safety.
There is also news that the Falcon 9 explosion may have been caused by an external object, and not a fault with the rocket itself.
Lastly, I highly recommend you check out the comic on climate change that Elon tweeted this morning. It gives a great overview of major historical events covering the past 20,000 years, as well as the rapid recent increase in global temperature.
Thank-you for being part of this newsletter, and enjoy Issue 43!
Zachary K.D.

Featured Quote

"I think this [autopilot 8.0 update] is quite a massive enhancement, I wish we could have done it earlier, but the perfect is the enemy of the good."

— Elon Musk
Quote from Electrek | Photo from Web Summit

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A Timeline Of Earth's Average Temperature Since The Last Ice Age Glaciation

When people say "the climate has changed before," these are the kinds of changes they're talking about.


Did a UFO Sabotage the SpaceX Falcon 9 Test?

Ok, not that sort of UFO, but Elon Musk, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Air Force Public Affairs Agency, and NASA have together "not ruled out" the thought that something other than an internal malfunction caused the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to explode on September 1. Conspiracy theorists were quick to initiate their own investigation. Footage of what SpaceX has dubbed an "anomaly" seems to show a literal unidentified flying object whiz past the rocket just before it ignites and explodes.
On Friday morning, Musk returned to Twitter after a rare, but understandable week off: "Important to note that this happened during a routine filling operation. Engines were not on and there was no apparent heat source." As if that enough fuel for the conspiracy theorists' fire, he continued: "Particularly trying to understand the quieter bang sound a few seconds before the fireball goes off. May come from rocket or something else."

Elon Musk Asks for Help Solving SpaceX Rocket Explosion

Elon Musk is asking for help from NASA and the public in figuring out what happened when one of the company's Falcon 9 rockets exploded on Sept. 1.

Iridium remains fully behind SpaceX as Musk hints at difficult investigation

The commercial company with arguably the most at stake in a quick and successful return to flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on Sept. 8 gave a ringing endorsement of the launch-service provider even as SpaceX founder Elon Musk issued statements saying the investigation will be complicated.
Iridium has never suggested that it would move off SpaceX in the event of a failure. The company's contract is viewed in commercial-launch circles as a particularly good deal that could not be replaced elsewhere, even if suitable rockets were available. But Fitzpatrick [Iridium CFO] said SpaceX and Iridium's original founder, Motorola, share a taste for technological innovation, and that this was also a part of the reason for committing so heavily to SpaceX.
Read the full article | Photo from Iridium

After a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded and destroyed an AMOS-6 satellite, how will space insurance cover high-risk rockets?

Sophisticated satellites cost hundreds of millions of dollars and are assembled in clean rooms by technicians in full bodysuits. And then, to fly them into space, we strap them onto enormous rockets that explode spectacularly once in every 20 takeoff attempts.
Who's on the hook when things go wrong? Welcome to the volatile world of space insurance. When a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket burst into flames Sept. 1 during a pre-flight mishap, the satellite sitting on top was the more valuable casualty. AMOS-6, owned by the Israeli company Spacecom and manufactured at a cost of $175 million, lay at the center of a delicate web of global contracts between its operator, the operator's potential acquirer, its transporter, its manufacturer, and their various clients, including Facebook and NASA.


Upgrading Autopilot: Seeing the World in Radar

While there are dozens of small refinements with Version 8 of our software, described in addendum below, the most significant upgrade to Autopilot will be the use of more advanced signal processing to create a picture of the world using the onboard radar. The radar was added to all Tesla vehicles in October 2014 as part of the Autopilot hardware suite, but was only meant to be a supplementary sensor to the primary camera and image processing system.
The net effect of this, combined with the fact that radar sees through most visual obscuration, is that the car should almost always hit the brakes correctly even if a UFO were to land on the freeway in zero visibility conditions. Taking this one step further, a Tesla will also be able to bounce the radar signal under a vehicle in front - using the radar pulse signature and photon time of flight to distinguish the signal - and still brake even when trailing a car that is opaque to both vision and radar. The car in front might hit the UFO in dense fog, but the Tesla will not.
Read the full article | Photo from Tesla

Tesla Autopilot 8.0 uses radar to prevent accidents like the fatal Model S crash

Today, Tesla revealed Version 8 of its Autopilot software, going live in one to two weeks. Version 8.0 includes updates to the signal processing tech used to interpret images received from the onboard radar. The update focuses primarily on the radar component of the Autopilot sensor system, turning it from a supplementary part of the overall tech, designed to complement the cameras, into a primary control sensor that, according to Elon Musk himself, should prevent accidents like the one that resulted in Josh Brown's death.
"We're making much more effective use of radar," Musk explained on a press call regarding the updates. "We weren't confident that we could resolve false positives where the radar would think that it should brake, but it shouldn't."
But after getting upgraded components from Tesla's suppliers, they found they could combine that with their real-time fleet learning system and almost entirely eliminate false positives. That means radar alone can initiate a braking event, rather than requiring the camera component to also provide a positive image recognition result of a potential object.
Read the full article | Photo from Tesla

Tesla is reaching the limit of Autopilot hardware, but fleet learning will improve for years, says Musk

When I asked if Tesla reached the limit of the Model S and X processing power with this new 8.0 software update, Musk admitted to almost reaching the limit of the hardware: "It was a hard software problem. I think in term of macro, major improvements, yes, we are almost reaching the limits, but it is important to emphasize that the fleet learning will continue and the intelligence of how that fleet learning is applied to the car will continue to improve."
He added to the difference between the hardware in the car and fleet learning: "So while we are reaching the limit of the hardware, I think we have not quite yet reached the algorithmic intelligence on the car and of course, anything that's done on our servers – where we are not computer constraint or space constrained in any way."

Tesla Model S with LIDAR 'Puck' spotted testing near Palo Alto HQ

Another Tesla Model S with a roof-mounted LIDAR sensor has been spotted near the company's Palo Alto-based headquarters. However, unlike the previous sighting of the Model S with overhead LIDAR and bore the Stanford University insignia on the rear windshield and license plate bracket, the Model S spotted today was using presumably much smaller LIDAR sensors and wearing manufacturer license plates.


SolarCity (SCTY) manages to raise $305 million ahead of merger with Tesla (TSLA)

SolarCity (SCTY) announced today that it managed to close $305 million in cash equity financing from Quantum Strategic Partners advised by Soros Fund Management. The deal was reportedly more difficult to close ahead of the merger with Tesla (TLSA).

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