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HomeAviationTesla Invests $500 Million in Buffalo Supercomputer to Boost Self-Driving Tech.

Tesla Invests $500 Million in Buffalo Supercomputer to Boost Self-Driving Tech.

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York stated at a press conference on Friday that Tesla will invest $500 million to construct one of its dubbed “Dojo” supercomputers at its Buffalo, New York, plant, just days after CEO Elon Musk labelled the project as a “long shot.”

Tesla’s decision was “informed by New York’s reliable power supply, strong talent pipeline, and availability of usable space for the project,” according to Hochul’s office.

First shown during Tesla’s “AI Day” event in 2021, Dojo is a supercomputer designed to help the business go closer to its as-yet unachieved aim of creating a self-driving vehicle. In order to train the AI that now drives Tesla’s most advanced driver assistance software, known as Full Self-Driving Beta, the company aims to use the supercomputer to examine massive amounts of video footage taken from its electric vehicles. Last year, Musk stated that Tesla intended to invest “well over $1 billion” in Dojo.

Tesla’s ambitions for Buffalo have changed recently with the arrival of the Dojo project, which has become somewhat of a fiasco for the state of New York. Once known as “Gigafactory 2,” Tesla acquired the problematic solar panel startup in 2016 and took over the factory from SolarCity. By then, the state had already given the facility a $750 million commitment. Although it had trouble producing the product on a large scale, Tesla pledged to manufacture solar roof tiles there. After its partner, Panasonic, left the facility in 2020, Tesla changed its business strategy to hire individuals to categorise training data for its less sophisticated Autopilot software.

The Dojo supercomputer project, according to Musk, is a “long shot bet” with the potential to “pay off in a very, very big way… in the multi-hundred-billion-dollar level,” as he stated in April 2008.

This week, during a conference call with analysts, he restated the idea. He declared, “It’s a high-risk, high-payoff programme; it’s not, like, a sure thing at all.” “We have plans for Dojo 1.5, Dojo 2, Dojo 3, and other things, and we are scaling it up.” Therefore, I believe it has promise, but the magnitude is high risk/high reward.

Musk dismissed the $500 million investment in a social media post on X, pointing out the business would spend significantly more on Nvidia hardware in 2024, despite the fact the investment was applauded during Hochul’s press conference.

“The governor is right that this is a Dojo Supercomputer, but $500 million is just equal to a $10,000 H100 machine from Nvidia—albeit still a significant amount of money,” Musk stated in the post on X. This year, Tesla plans to invest more in Nvidia hardware than that. At this time, being competitive in AI requires spending at least several billions of dollars annually.


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