UPDATE: Musk denied Globes’ report in a response posted on Twitter:
This is completely false. Never even heard of Cortica. Just taking my kids on a Spring Break trip to see ancient historical sites in Israel & Jordan.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 20, 2018
EARLIER: In late 2016, Elon Musk promised that a Tesla vehicle equipped with the company’s Autopilot feature would soon be able to drive itself all the way from California to New York. And in typical Musk fashion, the Tesla CEO boasted that it would all transpire before 2018.
“I feel pretty good about this goal,” Musk said at the time. “Our goal is, we’ll be able to do a demonstration guide of full autonomy all the way from LA to New York. So basically from home in LA to Times Square in New York. And then the car will go park itself.”
2017, of course, came and went and Musk’s promise, as many predicted, went unfulfilled. Musk’s bold promises aside, Tesla remains committed to the advancement of self-driving technologies. More recently, the company has been teasing a massive and forthcoming Autopilot update that will reportedly deliver a number of substantive performance improvements.
Interestingly enough, Musk recently traveled to Israel where he reportedly met with an Israeli-based AI startup called Cortica. Musk’s visit with Cortica is particularly intriguing given that the company specializes in AI for autonomous cars. Citing one person who claims to be familiar with the matter, Globes relays that the purpose of Musk’s visit is to examine the feasibility of incorporating Cortica’s technology into Tesla vehicles.
As to why Tesla is taking a keen interest in Cortica, the report notes that the company “is developing unsupervised machine learning systems that can understand a vehicle’s environment and identify objects while the vehicle is travelling.”
Cortica’s own website adds:
Cortica’s AI enables a true, human-level understanding of the world around the vehicle beyond a simple data input description. Cortica’s Autonomous AI enables the vehicle to identify the moving parts in its environment and make informed decisions- even predicting the changes likely to occur in its surroundings. Autonomous AI allows for safer, more efficient, and intelligent autonomous driving.
What’s more, Cortica boasts that its technology is capable of recognizing and identifying an assortment of vehicles and trucks, bicycles and motorcycles, pedestrians, and more.
With fine grain recognition the system identifies everything from pedestrians with baby strollers, to hoverboards, to individuals walking while looking at their smartphone. The robust capabilities support all concepts and tangible objects.
Beyond sensory perception Cortica’s Autonomous AI interprets complex contextual states with an added layer of predictive AI. This allows the system to place probabilities upon an object’s next possible course of action while simultaneously predicting additional objects likely to enter the frame.
A video highlighting Cortica’s technology in action can be seen below.