From www.zdnet.com

tesla-humanoid

Image: Tesla

Tesla AI Day is Tesla’s annual event in which the company reveals all of its upcoming projects and showcases its latest technology. The event will take place on September 30 and is expected to be live-streamed on both the Tesla website and on YouTube. If you are debating whether or not to tune in, here is what you can expect. 

This event is similar to other major tech companies’ annual events, such as Apple’s Far Out event that took place earlier this month, Samsung’s Unpacked events or Google’s annual I/O keynotes. It’s an opportunity for the public to learn about what is to come. 

Although news about Tesla electric vehicles makes up a good portion of these events, with Tesla, there are always surprises. Last year, the biggest surprise was the dancing robot that walked onto the stage to accompany Tesla CEO Elon Musk. A man dressed in a robot suit was Tesla’s creative way of announcing its first humanoid robot, Optimus. 

This Tesla AI Day will likely discuss Optimus, self-driving cars, Tesla Cybertruck, Tesla Supercharger V4, Dojo chip, and robotaxi.

Optimus

Image: Tesla

After all the buzz that Optimus created last year, it can be expected that the humanoid robot will be at the forefront of this year’s event. Musk unofficially confirmed that Optimus would be a topic of discussion at this year’s event by switching the event date from August 19 to September 30, due to the availability of an Optimus prototype at the later date.  

So what is the hype about Optimus? Besides its futuristic design that makes it look like it came right out of a sci-fi movie, Optimus is garnering attention because it is a humanoid robot powered by Tesla’s AI that could revolutionize the way people do things.

Also known as the Tesla bot, Optimus would be a 5-foot 8-inch robot that can perform human tasks such as carrying 45 pounds and deadlifting 145 pounds.

“It’s intended to be friendly, of course, and navigate through a world built for humans and eliminate dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks,” said Musk at last year’s Tesla AI Day.

Also: Tesla Bot: A concept humanoid robot embedded with Tesla’s vehicle AI

People remain skeptical at who the intended consumer for this product is, as it will likely be a hefty investment for an average household. Also, robots have never really been implemented into households, with the exception of robots of the Roomba sort, so the release of this product would be a drastic departure from current technology.

Other applications for the robot would be factories and the service industry, which could benefit from the assistance the AI-driven robot could provide. 

Self-driving cars

Image: Tesla

Although the promise of a Tesla self-driving car is nothing new, Tesla has yet to release a self-driving car to the public. At an energy conference in Norway last month, Musk announced his plans to get Tesla’s self-driving technology ready for release by year-end, according to a Reuters report. 

Also: Elon Musk says that the self-driving Tesla could be ready by the end of the year

Musk has shown he is very passionate about self-driving vehicle technology, proclaiming: “Self-driving electric cars will be all that matters. Gas car without autonomy will be like riding a horse & using a flip phone. That still happens, but it’s niche,” via Twitter

Since Musk first announced the idea in 2016, there have been several new release dates each year, which all came up short. He even promised a Tesla self-autonomous trip from NYC to LA, which got delayed to 2017, then 2018, and is yet to happen. So we can expect another update at this event, hopefully with a firm date that comes before the end of the year. 

Tesla’s promised self-driving technology would significantly diverge from existing features — there will be no driver needed at all. 

Tesla’s current capabilities allow its vehicles to take several autonomous actions, such as autosteer, autopark, auto lane change, identifying stop signs and traffic lights, and slowing your car down when approaching traffic signs. However, human direction is still required. 

Tesla Cybertruck