Tesla’s new supercomputer is to blame for its Autopilot tech switch

Tesla announced last month that it’s ditching radar sensors from its Model 3 and Model Y EVs for a camera-based autonomous driving system, called the Tesla Vision – but just for the North American market.

Tesla’s move made absolutely no sense and it even cost the company the safety recognition by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). But new details from the company’s Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence, Andrej Karpathy, shed at least some light into the automaker’s choice.

During his presentation at the 2021 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition on Monday, Karpathy revealed that the reason behind the vision-only autonomous driving approach is the company’s new supercomputer. 

Tesla’s next-gen supercomputer has 10 petabytes of “hot tier” NVMe storage and runs at 1.6 terrabytes per second, according to Karpathy. With 1.8 EFLOPS, he claimed that it might well be the fifth most powerful supercomputer in the world. Simply put, it apparently has insane speed and capacity. 


Credit: Tesla