Tesla FSD for newbies

Tesla Full Self Driving (FSD) is a massive undertaking, teaching vehicles to drive better and safer than any human in just about any situation. This might be harder than landing on the Moon where you only deal with natural phenomena, not a bunch of human lunatics and all sorts of wildlife that happen to want to cross the road just as you are driving by.

FSD is just too complex to solve with traditional programming methods, only neural networks are capable enough, or will be capable enough in the future. Traditional programming is a rational boolean process which by its very nature is sequential, “If A then B. If B then C.” When driving at 100 MPH there is no computer fast enough to do it. The problem requires a massively parallel approach which is what neural networks are. The human brain has an average of 86 billion neurons!

FSD’s task is to convert a huge number of pixels picked up by eight motion cameras, make sense of them, and then drive the car accordingly. FSD has been through a series of changes. At first it was eight video streams, then the eight video streams were converted into a ‘vector space.’ The latest version uses a relatively new approach called ‘transformers’ which tries to make sense of individual objects like traffic lanes. I saw a similar development in traditional programming. Early programs were simple enough to be one big blob of code. As complexity grew new methods of splitting up the problem into discrete bits of code emerged. The latest one I worked with is Object Oriented Programming (OOP) where everything is seen as an object, a button, a window, etc. The actual coding is not all that different but designing the ‘objects’ is an art! My Portfolio app has 100 objects not counting the 25 objects in phpExcel which does most of the heavy maths plus lots of objects in the php interpreter (no idea how many but many, many).

Enjoy the video!

Understanding Tesla FSD Beta v.10.11 Improvements w/ James Douma #28 (Ep. 558)


Denny Schlesinger

When children play house or cops & robbers they are training their 86 billion neurons to deal with the world around them.