Multiple sources have confirmed that Tesla has acquired a Silicon Valley startup called DeepScale in its efforts to create fully autonomous vehicles.
While all of Tesla’s car models currently feature significantly more advanced driver assistance systems than other vehicles on the road, they are still only rated as “Level 2” autonomous by SAE. In order to be considered fully self-driving, they need to reach Level 4. The acquisition of DeepScale is presumably an effort to gain such a rating, which would then allow the company to roll out its plans for an autonomous ridesharing network – something Musk wanted to do by 2020.
DeepScale has been running for four years and, during that time, the team have developed small, low-cost sensors and processors that can interpret real-time data to assess and understand the environment and objects around them.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that the Model X, S and 3 already feature the hardware necessary for self-driving, they just need to improve the software. Once these improvements have been made, the update can roll out seamlessly to existing cars.