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Elon Musk says Tesla is building dedicated chips for Autopilot

Tesla’s Autopilot driver assist technology is arguably the most advanced platform of its kind, putting owners on the path to fully autonomous driving.

However, in order to advance the advent of self-driving Tesla vehicles, CEO Elon Musk reckons some new bespoke hardware might be required.

Musk says Tesla is developing its own chip to run the Autopilot in future vehicles from the firm.

Related: Elon Musk’s wildest ideas

“We are developing customized AI hardware chips,” Musk said at the amusingly named NIPS machine learning conference.

“I wanted to make it clear that Tesla is serious about AI, both on the software and hardware fronts,” he said, according to The Register.

The entrepreneur told attendees Tesla is “developing specialized AI hardware that we think will be the best in the world.”

A faster route to Level 5?

Reports going back as far as September claimed Tesla had up to 50 people working on the AI chips, but this is the first time the company has acknowledged the project.

Tesla is hoping Autopilot can achieve Level 5 full autonomy within the next two years, a pledge Musk repeated during the conference in Long Beach, California.

“We get there faster if we have dedicated AI hardware,” Musk added

Currently, the company uses Nvidia graphics chips to power Autopilot, but bringing the hardware development in-house might help Tesla achieve its goals faster.

Elsewhere, aerospace giant Boeing said it plans to beat Musk’s SpaceX company to Mars.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told CNBC: “Eventually we’re going to go Mars and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket.”

Replying on Twitter in typical style, Musk simply said “Do it.”

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