© alphaspirit dreamstime.com General | October 03, 2019
Tesla, DeepScale, circling robotaxi market
In a move aimed at fulfilling CEO Elon Musk’s vision to develop vehicles for the robotaxi market, Tesla has acquired Silicon Valley start-up DeepScale, according to media reports.
Earlier this week, CNBC was the first to report the purchase, with TechCrunch independently confirming the deal with two unnamed sources. No financial details of the deal were disclosed. DeepScale technology uses deep neural networks on tiny, cost-efficient sensors and processors to improve the accuracy of an automobile’s perception systemsꟷthe mapping, planning and control systems that analyze and classify data in real time. These systems are what allow vehicles to understand what is happening around them, in essence, to make sense of the data they are receiving. Although Tesla driver-assistance systems are more advanced that most of its current competitors, they are categorized as “Level 2” according to Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE), and Musk has stated previously that his eventual goal for Tesla is to be fully automated, or “Level 4.” Musk said earlier this year that Tesla would a robotaxi network by 2020, and the purchase of DeepScale is a signal that Musk intends to keep that promise. The acquisition also brings specialized talent to Tesla’s team; DeepScale CEO Forrest Iandola joined Tesla as a senior staff machine learning scientist, according to an announcement he posted on his LinkedIn page this week. The four-year-old DeepScale has amassed upwards of USD 18 million — in USD 3 million seed and USD156 million Series A rounds — from investors including Autotech VC, Bessemer, Greylock and Trucks VC, the TechCrunch story is reporting.