Tesla’s Technological Moats for the Win

Ark Invest identified four technological moats that Tesla is growing for its electric car and truck businesses.

1. Superior batteries

2. AI (Full Self Driving) Chip

The Tesla FSD is an automotive grade computer powered by two custom SoCs (system-on-chip). The SoCs leverage commodity ARM CPUs and GPUs but are augmented by a Tesla-designed neural net accelerator capable of performing 147 trillion operations per second—sufficient for full-autonomous driving.

Nvidia Pegasus is Nvidia’s Level 5 self-driving computer. It uses two Xavier SoCs and two Turing-class GPUs. Pegasus is much larger, more expensive, and more power-hungry than the Tesla FSD. Pegasus uses 500 watts of power which is seven times more than the Tesla FSD.

Nvidia’s next-generation self-driving computer, dubbed “Orin”, shrinks Pegasus from four to two chips while achieving the same level of performance. Orin would be released in 2021 and integrated into competing cars in 2023.

Tesla should have a version two FSD in 2021 and a version three in 2023.

3. Miles of Data Collected.

Tesla has thousands of times more self-driving data collected than competitors.

4. Over the Air Updates

Tesla is able to update the software in its vehicles with over the air.

Tesla shipped an over-the-air update that improved the braking distance by 19 feet.
They shipped over-the-air updates that improved acceleration and driving performance.

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