Self-driving vehicles will be the future in transportation and safety, helping to transition human transportation to a more sustainable future. Plus, the full autonomy of the Tesla cars opens the way to a cheaper and more reliable mean of transportation, both to those who own a car as to those who don’t.
Tesla issued a press notice, where they revealed that all the cars being produced at the factory, including their entry level car, Model 3, now have from stock the hardware needed for a full self-driving capability, being at the same time much safer than a human driver can be. The hardware consists of 8 cameras that provide a 360-degree visibility around the car up to a 250 meters range, in addiction to that, the car has twelve ultrasonic sensors, allowing for the detection of both soft and hard objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. In top of all that, a front-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about everything, and is capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.
To handle all of this data, a new onboard computer with up to more 40 times the processing capacity of its predecessor was installed and controls all the new hardware, as it does the whole rest of the car system. With all this, the system creates a view of the world, that no driver can access at a moment, seeing at every direction simultaneously, and of wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.
Despite the fact that you could buy a Model S or Model X with this new hardware as of today, the features enabled by the new hardware will still be tuned up using millions of kilometers of real-world driving to ensure a perfect fit to its function. Until this task is completed, the cars with the new hardware will lack some features currently available on the first-generation Tesla’s with Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. As soon as they tune them up, they will become automatically available over-the-air and so will all the new features. As usual, the company’s over-the-air update system will keep customers on the forefront of technology, and keep every Tesla, including those with first-generation Autopilot and earlier cars, more capable and safe over time.