Tesla Introduce Auto-Pilot Update Can You Sit Back And Relax?
Maybe October 2015 will be remembered for how the landscape changed with the introduction of cars that can drive themselves. Tesla has introduced the Auto -Pilot update to the cars software, this activates the hardware that has been installed in their Model S Cars since last year. Does it mean that we will suddenly see cars driving around with people catching up on their sleep at the wheel? Nope, at this moment that is not even legal to do this but the Tesla vehicles can be driven hands free on the Motorway/highway and will stay in the lane you choose and adapt the speed safely.
Many cars out there make use of Adaptive Cruise Control which regulates your speed dependent on how close you are to the car in front. Tesla takes this to the next level though.
Leave a comment, would you like a Tesla?
The Autopilot software upgrade was announced last year and you can think of it as being like a very advanced type of cruise control. It’s only really suitable for the freeway at the moment, but it’s an important step forward for autonomous automobile technology. The primary feature is called Autosteer, which uses the road markings to keep in the centre of the current lane, and radar sensors to judge the distance between you and the car in front (and alter your speed if necessary).
The software also includes Auto Lane Change, where a tap on the indicator is enough to change lanes (the car takes care of waiting for a big enough gap), and Autopark, which can swing your vehicle into a tight parking space all by itself.
Even with all of this technology now available, Tesla insists that drivers must keep their hands on the wheel at all times. A fully autonomous driving experience is on the way, but we’re not there yet – and Tesla doesn’t want to be held responsible for accidents until its software is a lot more mature. The data from Autopilot-enabled cars will be fed back to the company and used to improve the software for future releases.
The kit that enables this functionality includes a forward radar, a forward-facing camera, 360-degree ultrasonic sensors and GPS (Tesla says a hardware upgrade will eventually be required to make its cars fully self-driving). These motors can also tap into the company’s high-resolution navigation maps, which are augmented by information gathered by the vehicles as they travel.
Although the software is advanced it is a long way off from providing driver-less cars . Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented: “Essentially it’s like a person – how well can a person figure out what route they should take. Over time, it will be better than a person. Long term it will be way better than a person. It never gets tired, it’s never had anything to drink, it’s never arguing with someone in the car. It’s not distracted.”
There are many Car manufacturers investing in this type of technology but when will we see completely driver-less cars, it could be as early as 2020.