August 14, 2016 weblog
More radar, triple-camera system for next Autopilot version?
Causing lots of conversation this week has been word of a coming update to the Tesla Motors Autopilot system. News sites made reference to a recent article in Electrek, which talked about a coming "Tesla Autopilot 2.0" as the next-gen Autopilot. (The Autopilot is Tesla's assisted driving program. Features include Autosteer, Autopark, and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, said Electrek.)
Key talking points about this next version include (1) more radar and (2) new triple camera.
BGR also talked about this.
Tesla's Autopilot 2.0 adds more sensors, said BGR on Thursday. The new hardware adds more radar units so that there's one on every corner of the car. That should give more radar coverage around the car. Chris Mills said, "we should also expect a new triple-camera front system, which will require a redesigned housing."
Electrek talked about a sensor suite enabling "level 3 autonomous driving and potentially level 4 fully autonomous driving in a not too distant future."
What do the driving levels mean? According to an article in Electrek last year: "Limited Self-Driving Automation (Level 3): Vehicles at this level of automation enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions."
Tom Randall in Bloomberg looked at Autopilot recently, too. "The first thing to know about a Tesla on Autopilot is that it is not a self-driving car. Think of it instead as the next level of cruise control. Pull the lever once, and the car takes over acceleration and deceleration. Pull the lever twice, and it takes over the steering, too."
Michael Ballaban, Deputy Editor, Jalopnik, looked at the timing of a new version. "If Tesla's going to achieve company CEO Elon Musk's goal of full autonomy by 2019 at the latest, it's going to need to step up the physical tech that comes with each car."
How far will the new version go toward a fully autonomous self-driving car?
Randall in Bloomberg said, "By next year, Tesla will have collected data from a billion miles of Autopilot use, and it won't be long before the lives saved may vastly outpace risk from the imperfect human. "
No firm dates have been set as yet on when we can expect a fully autonomous drive with a Tesla car.
Fred Lambert had reported recently how, during a conference call, Elon Musk talked about Tesla's progress in level 4 fully autonomous driving. He did not want to make an announcement on the call, but he said that it is coming sooner than people think.
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