A New Meaning To Smart Car

Thu 15th Sep 2022

The race to produce the world’s fastest car might just be overtaken by manufacturers looking to produce the smartest, with news that Tesla’s latest microchip is 30 times more powerful than the one they introduced six years ago.

Research from Vanarama has suggested at the current rate of growth, a Tesla could be more intelligent than a human within the decade.

Tesla’s D1 microchip can handle 362 trillion operations per second, making it the firm’s most powerful to date. Its processing capacity is already 36% of a human brain’s, which can handle one quadrillion operations per second.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is striving to develop a chip that can make self-driving vehicles a reality. How much farther away artificial intelligence (AI) is from closing the gap than we can't help but wonder. Vanarama estimates the processing power of Tesla chips to estimate how many years it will take for our brains to be on equal footing with us.

Tesla microchips' processing capacity is assessed using operations per second. The van hire firm discovered that its performance increased by 486% annually by analysing its previous and current chips. The Nvidia component used in 2016 was capable of processing 'only' 12 trillion operations per second, while the latest D1 chip processed 362 trillion operations.

Tesla's self-driving AI chip will surpass the human brain (one quadrillion operations per second) by 2033, if the company's forecast is correct (10.94 years).

Tesla would reach the level of a mature human brain in eight years if its brain grew at the same rate as the first Nvidia chip (nine years slower than a human brain).

“These chips have been instrumental in Tesla’s existing automated driving functions, but there is so much more potential over the next decade,” the Vanarama report said. “Does this mean that it will be 11 years until we see self-driving cars on the roads, or will it happen much sooner? Only time and innovation will tell.

“It wouldn’t be crazy to believe that tech will become significantly smarter than humans in our lifetime. Microchips are currently capable of working the way brain synapses do, with researchers developing chips that are inspired by the way the brain operates.”