Tesla Begins Roll Out Of Nvidia-Based Enhanced Autopilot

Jan. 25, 2017 11:07 AM ETTesla, Inc. (TSLA)NVDA418 Comments


  • Although a little late, Tesla has started to push updates for Enhanced Autopilot for new Tesla cars.
  • Enhanced Autopilot is based on the new Nvidia Drive PX 2 system that Tesla started installing in all new Teslas last October.
  • Full self-driving capability, which the Nvidia hardware also enables, will start to roll out later this year.

Tesla (NASDAQ:NASDAQ:TSLA) has begun pushing over the air (OTA) updates for cars built with the Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) Drive PX 2 to enable "Enhanced Autopilot." Enhanced Autopilot amounts to a restoration of basic Autopilot features that were available before last October plus some new features. It also marks a critical milestone on the way to "Full Self-driving capability" which Tesla expects to start to deliver this year.

Source: Tesla

Better Late Than Never

When Tesla announced last October that it would be transitioning to a new Autopilot system based on Nvidia's Drive PX 2 system, it put the best spin possible on the situation by claiming that all Tesla cars would henceforth be equipped with hardware sufficient for "full self-driving capability." But in the meantime, basic Autopilot functions were put on hold until new software could be readied for the new hardware. Tesla promised to deliver Enhanced Autopilot by December. Not surprisingly, Tesla missed that schedule milestone.

Often, when Tesla has fallen behind schedule, or missed guidance on deliveries or profitability, this has occasioned Tesla bears to condemn Tesla's "dishonesty." Actually, Tesla is almost painfully honest about its plans and expectations. CEO Elon Musk, like so many engineers in perennially over optimistic.

The smart thing for Tesla to do would be to not make specific promises. When I saw the promise of December availability for Enhanced Autopilot in the Tesla custom configurator, it seemed quite possible that they wouldn't make it.

But after pushing an update that ran Enhanced Autopilot in a "shadow mode,"as I discussed in my article Self Driving Cars Will Succeed, the roll out of operational features began only about a week later on January 21.

Musk warned through Twitter that some cars might require servicing in addition to the OTA update. This also was not surprising given the

This article was written by

Mark Hibben profile picture
Balanced, expert investing strategies from a technologist's perspective
Mark has a masters in Electrical Engineering from USC, is an independent iOS developer, and blogs about technology trends and companies, the focus of his investments.

Disclosure: I am/we are long NVDA. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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