Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter Tuesday that owners will get a new autopilot chip in about six months, which will be much more powerful and enable the company's long-awaited full-self-driving mode.
In a series of tweets, Musk said owners who prepaid for full self-driving mode in their cars – which is still not operational – will get the new chip for free as it becomes available.
Other Tesla owners looking for better performance on their car's autopilot system – a combination of adaptive cruise control and active tracking – can purchase the new chip along with the full self-driving option for $ 5,000 , It is not clear if there is a delay between the arrival of the new chip and the possibility to turn on the full self-drive mode.
The new chip was developed to support the company's artificial learning system, which collects data from all Tesla drivers (or at least all with Autopilot 2 hardware) and the company's autopilot system, as well as the self-drive mode, the Tesla developed.
Tesla says the new proprietary chip is the first to be specifically designed to operate artificially learning neural networks and directly share the same ports and dimensions as the Nvidia chip the company currently uses.
In a second tweet on Tuesday, Musk said the new chips will be five to 20 times faster than the current autopilot chip.
Tesla started selling the full self-driving mode in its cars in late 201
Musk says the cars will be much safer than a human driver once the system is developed, but this year at least three Tesla were involved in high-profile crashes when the cars were under autopilot control. Another high-profile accident in 2016 was due to the inability of the autopilot to distinguish a semi-trailer that drives to the left over the highway.
The autopilot offers a lower level of automation than the Full Self-Driving mode, and critics say the drivers are too dependent on it.
The company announced that it developed the new chip in its profit zone in June. In his Monday tweets, Musk showed some of his skills, prices and availability.
In June, Musk said the first abilities of the full self-driving mode are limited to "on-ramp to off-ramp" highway.