Tesla is reportedly working on its own chip to power self-driving cars

Elon MuskBen Macmahon/AAP ImageTesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla is taking steps to decrease its reliance on Nvidia, which has supplied the electric automaker with the graphic processing units powering Tesla’s Autopilot and future self-driving system.

Tesla is developing its own chip to power its self-driving cars, CNBC’s Jordan Novet first reported. The move would reduce Nvidia’s role in Tesla’s self-driving-car ambitions and bring more of the project in-house.

Tesla is working with semiconductor company AMD on the chip, according to the report. Tesla and AMD did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment. Nvidia declined to comment.

Shares of AMD spiked on the news, while Nvidia was down in after-hours trading.

Mobileye used to supply Tesla with the chips for its Autopilot system, a driver-assistance tool that allows Tesla vehicles to drive themselves in traffic and park on their own.

Mobileye chose not to renew its contract with Tesla last July, just a few months after Model S owner Joshua Brown died in a fatal accident while Autopilot was activated. Intel bought Mobileye in March for $US15.3 billion in order to further its own autonomous-car project.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said it has been a “tough slog” transitioning from the reliance on Mobileye’s vision chips.

The company has yet to release all of the software updates for its second-generation Autopilot system that was made available for purchase in December 2016. Tesla also pushed back the timeline for its self-driving-car demo to early 2017.

“It’s definitely been a tough slog transitioning from the Mobileye vision chip to Tesla’s internal vision system, but I think we’re almost there in terms of exceeding the ability of the hardware one cars,” Musk said during a meeting with shareholders in early June.

Several Tesla Autopilot executives have left the company since December. Chris Lattner, Tesla’s vice president of Autopilot software, left the company in June after just six months at the helm.

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