According to a new report from CNBC, Elon Musk‘s Tesla has acquired a startup specializing in computer vision, named DeepScale, in an effort to boost the automation technology for the company’s electric cars.
The four-year-old startup has developed methods to improve computer vision using low-cost, automotive-grade sensors and processors along with a network of sensors and mapping and planning systems to create awareness for an autonomous vehicle’s surroundings. This type of technology will be crucial to Tesla if it wishes to elevate it’s currently level two vehicles — as designated by the Society of Automotive Engineers — to a level four, meaning the car can drive itself in any condition completely without the need of human intervention.
The acquisition will also be key to Tesla realizing its plans, announced earlier this year, to launch a completely autonomous ridesharing network by next year. These “robotaxis” will compete against the likes of Uber and Lyft, both of which are also in the race to create their own autonomous fleets. CNBC reports that DeepScale will help Tesla fill its talent gap in its Autopilot division, as eleven of its employees had left the company last summer following the departure of the department head, Stuart Bowers.
Elsewhere in tech, Instagram has launched drop reminders for in-app shoppers.