Wednesday 28 October 2015

Tesla's Cars Can Drive Themselves Starting Tomorrow


Tesla – Car’s Self Driving Features

Tesla recently announced at a press event, the release of version 7.0 of the Model S software, which is a broadly expected new build that permits the car’s self-driving features. The capabilities had first been announced last year while the essential sensors had been added to all Model S cars which had rolled off the assembly line since last September.

However, Tesla wanted more time to amplify the systems which it has been testing this year. The 7.0 release would start soon in the US on a rolling basis and would be proceeding to Europe and Asia soon pending regulatory approval.

This does not seem to be a completely autonomous vehicle like that of Google car, but the main feature is what Tesla calls Autosteer that tends to keep the car in its present lane once they are already on the road, managing speed as well as distance from the car ahead.

Elon Must, on the call, was cautious to call Autosteer as a `beta’ feature wherein drivers were instructed to keep their hands on the wheel even though the function was engaged. He commented that they want people to be quite careful, while admitting that some people tend to take their hands off the wheel regardless and that they do not advise that.

Features - Auto Lane Change

A forthcoming version 7.1 would add the capability of sending the car off to a garage on its own and come back to pick you up which is another feature informed, when Musk had announced autopilot potentials last year. The Tesla in fact instructs drivers to keep their hands on the wheel while the car is steering for them and helps to keep liability squarely out of their court.

He comments that if there is an accident, the driver of the car is responsible, while also observing that there would ultimately be a time where self-driving vehicles would be safe and reliable adequately to abandon drivers of that liability completely.

The other 7.0 features Auto Lane Change which would automatically move to the nearby lane by tapping the turn signal together with the Autopark which tends to scan constantly for available parking around the car.

System Comprises of Four Sensor Categories

When it locates a space for park, the cartends to park it on its own. Besides this, there is also the Automatic Emergency Steering and Side Collision Warning, which utilises the ultrasonic sensors to move the car away from risk while cautioning the driver whenever it is essential.

The system comprises of four sensor categories on the car namely forward radar, forward-facing camera, 360 degree ultrasonic sensors and the GPS accompanied with Tesla’s high resolution navigation maps which trail the individual lanes and features of the roadways.

These types of sensors are found on several modern vehicles that are equipped with semi-autonomous features such as lane keep and dynamic cruise control. Tesla is constantly uploading real world sensor data from 7.0 equipped vehicles to home base which Musk calls it `fleet learning technology’.

This means that the autopilot potentials need to be theoretically more reliable over a period of time and the functions will improve with passage of time, even without a firmware update since the car is accessing Tesla’s high-res maps.

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