Last week, my commute to work across Austin using Tesla Full Self Driving Beta version 10.69.2 was flawless! I continue to experience this daily.
I believe a world where autonomy is the norm is closer than we realize. This article attempts to answer the question, who will benefit once Tesla autonomy is solved?
- Anyone who is unable or does not want to own a car
- The Elderly and other People in need
- Commercial Industry
- Mars building team
- Millions of people will avoid fatalities and injuries
- Tesla Humanoid Robot
Anyone who is unable or does not want to own a car
Three of my kids use Uber to get to work and school instead of owning a car, but the cost is high for this service. Going to work daily in a shared autonomous vehicle (a dedicated Robotaxi) will cost much less than today’s Uber or Lyft because an autonomous vehicle will not have to have a person at the wheel.
When costs to commute in dedicated Robotaxis become low enough, it can follow that many people will decide not to buy a vehicle.
The commute as we know it can be transformed when autonomy is solved.
Tim Urban tweeted, “The big story is hard to see when you’re inside of it. We’re all this wrong about something right now.” Tim quoted a newspaper clip from December 2000 from the Daily Mail which read “Internet may be just a passing fad as millions give up on it.” The article cited ‘experts’ from the Virtual Society project, which published a report saying that “predictions that the Internet would revolutionize the way society works have proved wildly inaccurate.”
So, as weird as it may sound, it may become niche to own a car at all in the future. Can we imagine a future where the majority of vehicles are autonomous?
The Elderly and Other People in Need
I reached out to several Tesla owners and others for ideas, and many agree that when Tesla autonomy is solved, it can benefit the elderly and the disabled.
“I am completely blind, and would love to walk you through an average day, and how many times an autonomous vehicle would be of assistance.” rlloken “It will give the elderly greater independence for longer. Also opens doors for the physically disabled folks who might not be able to drive currently.” Wanda Hudson “People with physical disabilities and medical conditions such as seizure disorders & visual impairment would greatly benefit from such incredible technology. And those who depend on others to get places. For many, it will be independence they never experienced before.” IheartTesla
Tesla autonomy has to be able to work on roads that the car hasn’t been on before and in situations where there is no connectivity. This will help many people who live in rural areas to gain independence if they cannot own a car.
War situations put people in great danger and autonomous vehicles could help bring supplies and rescue people. Tesla autonomy has to be able to work in millions of unpredictable situations and that will include places with unrest.
Autonomous Tesla Semi will be a huge benefit to businesses and allow the trucker to perform other valuable tasks instead of tedious driving.
Autonomy will lead to lower costs for production and delivery of all goods and food throughout the entire supply chain. Delivering these essentials will be less expensive.
Mars Building Team
Elon Musk tweeted right after the official Cybertruck unveiling in Nov 2019,
I believe that in our lifetime, humans will travel to Mars. When the Mars building team gets there they can all benefit from autonomous Cybertrucks that will help deliver and haul in extreme conditions. In this sense, these heavy-duty vehicles can protect human lives and help build the first outpost on Mars.
Just as there is a small window of opportunity for humans to make it to Mars, there is also a similar small window of time where full autonomy can be solved. Now is that time.
Millions of People will Avoid Fatalities and Injuries
Every day Tesla gets closer to solving autonomy, and we see vehicle safety improvements. Tesla does not intend to create autonomy that is specific to keeping a car in its lane or even lane changes. Autonomy for Tesla is a generalized solution.
"I definitely want talented people who are working on AI to consider working at Tesla because I think we’re solving an important part of AI, and one that can ultimately save millions of lives and prevent tens of millions of serious injuries by driving an order of magnitude safer than people.” Elon Musk (at 2022 Sharholder's Meeting)
If you have ever taken care of kids you know how frightening it is when a child runs into a busy street. It is heartbreaking to hear about a life ending in a car crash.
There were 35,766 fatalities and 1,593,390 injuries from crashes in 2020 (source data NHTSA) There were a total of 5,982 pedestrian fatalities from being struck by a car (source data NHTSA). Distracted driving led to 3,142 deaths in 2020, NHTSA reported, “The number of fatalities in distraction-affected crashes, i.e., a crash involving at least one driver who was distracted, was 3,142 or 8.1 percent of all fatalities in 2020. This represents a 0.7-percent increase from 3,119 in 2019.” – Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2020
Tesla expects the safety level of autonomous cars to be 10 times safer than non-autonomous cars.
Safety is emphasized in this excerpt from Tesla’s blog,
“In the US, there is one automotive fatality every 86 million miles across all vehicles from all manufacturers. For Tesla, there is one fatality, including known pedestrian fatalities, every 320 million miles in vehicles equipped with Autopilot hardware. If you are driving a Tesla equipped with Autopilot hardware, you are 3.7 times less likely to be involved in a fatal accident. Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents – such a standard would be impossible – but it makes them much less likely to occur. It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists. No one knows about the accidents that didn’t happen, only the ones that did. The consequences of the public not using Autopilot, because of an inaccurate belief that it is less safe, would be extremely severe. There are about 1.25 million automotive deaths worldwide. If the current safety level of a Tesla vehicle were to be applied, it would mean about 900,000 lives saved per year. We expect the safety level of autonomous cars to be 10 times safer than non-autonomous cars.”
When Elon Musk spoke at the ONS 2022 conference in Norway, he emphasized the importance of having Tesla cars being able to do self-driving when he answered the question, “what keeps you up at night?” he stated,
Tesla Humanoid Robot
Tesla is developing a helpful humanoid robot that will rely on the same technology that is available in every vehicle. At Tesla AI Day 2021, Elon Musk said,
It's around 5’ 8”, has sort of a screen where the head is for useful information, it’s otherwise basically got an autopilot system in it so its got cameras, about eight cameras, full self-driving computer, and makes use of all of the same tools that we use in the car. Things that I think are really hard about having a useful humanoid robot is, can it navigate through the world without being explicitly trained? I mean without explicit line-by-line instructions?
Tesla AI Day Part 2 on September 30 will be very interesting as it will reveal the incredible progress as well as the challenges of building a humanoid robot whose purpose is to help humans in a world built by humans.
This quote from Tim Urban invites us all to imagine the future. “The big story is hard to see when you’re inside of it. We’re all this wrong about something right now.”
When Tesla Autonomy is solved, people of all ages can benefit. This article highlights these 6 ways:
- The elderly and also the many talented people with disabilities that make it so they cannot drive
- People who live in areas of unrest or war and even in rural areas
- All of us because we depend on the commercial industry and its supply chain. When this becomes driven by autonomy, it will usher in a new era
- We will go to Mars one day, and having an autonomous fleet of pressurized Cybertrucks there will help get the hard work done
- Fatalities and injuries will be reduced by a large margin, saving millions of lives. Tesla expects the safety level of autonomous cars to be 10 times safer than non-autonomous cars
- People will benefit from a high-functioning Telsa bot fleet, which relies on the same tools as Tesla cars
Will you benefit once Tesla Autonomy is solved?
This article is part one of a series. It is written before “Tesla AI Day II.” We’ll look at this question again after the September 30 event. Tesla and SpaceX remain the top two most desirable places to work for engineers and hire some of the smartest people in the world to work on their AI Team.
If you loved this article, you may also love…
5 Takeaways from Tesla’s 2022 Shareholder Meeting, read what Elon Musk said at the August 2022 Shareholders Meeting about Tesla Autonomy and the Tesla Bot.
Read Elon Musk’s essay on technology for a better future which is Elon Musk’s entire essay composed for China Cyberspace magazine. In it, he discusses the incredible goals Tesla has for the Tesla Bot.
Elon Musk Interview with Xenia Wickett in Norway (ONS 2022 Stavanger Conference August 29th) Less than 25 min long and packed with information (full interview) this is the readable version of this fabulous interview, in which Elon Musk got to the main points very quickly. Amazing!
Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – This article was created by Gail Alfar with the goal to inspire you to support the important advancement of generalized autonomy as a force for good. The header photo is by @BLKMDL3 with permission. All Rights Reserved. September 18, 2022