TESLA ELECTRIC CARS CAN ALMOST DRIVE, BUT THE KEYWORD IS “ALMOST”.
Tesla Motors introduced its semi-autonomous driving system, called Autopilot, in 2014. It employs a series of cameras and radar and ultrasound sensors located around the car and essentially incorporates the car’s driver assistance feature set to enable rudimentary autonomous driving in the highway.
Originally offered as part of a technology package on the S model, it is now a standalone option at entry and advanced levels and is available on all Tesla vehicles, including the Model 3 and Model X. The company has improved its technology. With more capabilities in subsequent system updates, but Autopilot remains controversial.
In response to a series of crashes that occurred in which Autopilot was reportedly operating, critics contend that some Tesla owners tend to overestimate the system. Part of the problem, some say, is that the Autopilot name gives motorists false expectations that it makes the car fully autonomous when, in reality, the system still requires human intervention. For its part, the company contends that using Autopilot reduces the risk of a Tesla driver crashing.
Cadillac launched a semi-autonomous road driving system called Super Cruise for the 2018 XT5 sedan. The Caddy system allows for full hands-free operation, while still keeping an electric eye in the motorist’s head position through a small infrared camera to ensure he or she is prudently monitoring the road and ready to take control of the vehicle if necessary. The all-electric Nissan Leaf debuted semi-autonomous driving with its recent redesign, though its ProPilot system requires the driver to keep both hands on the wheel for safety reasons.
AUTOPILOT POSSIBILITIES AND RESTRICTIONS
The basic autopilot system, using a series of sensors, can maintain a safe distance from the front movement thanks to automatic throttle and braking inputs, and also keep the car in the middle between the lane markers thanks to current steering adjustments. This version of the system costs $ 3,000 if it is installed before delivery, and $ 4,000 if it is added later via a downloadable upgrade.
The system requires the driver to either hold the steering wheel or at least grab it from time to time to know that it is paying attention. According to Tesla, the system actually recognizes the hands, “recognizing the resistance of the light when the steering wheel turns or very slightly turning the steering wheel.” The driver will receive audible and visual warnings to reverse the wheel if necessary, and the system will eventually turn off if ignored.
The autopilot officially provides a so-called “second-level” autonomy according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration self-propulsion scale, since the driver must remain ready for takeover when required. (Level one represents essential cruise control, while level five is full autonomy without the need for a driver). For example, an autopilot cannot take into account the weaknesses of other drivers or predict road hazards. You’ll want to be ready for an aggressive takeover, for example, if another driver suddenly stops you in a sudden assault on multiple lanes or you avoid hitting a bumpy hole on the road.
The full version of Autopilot, which costs $ 5,000 before acceptance and $ 7,000 later – and above the above price for the basic system – expands the system’s capabilities.
Additional features include Navigate on autopilot, which allows semi-autonomous to travel from ramp to ramp exit, with the ability to overcome intersections, automatically change lanes and overtake slower-moving vehicles. It also has an automatic parking function that automatically guides the vehicle to both parallel and perpendicular parking spaces. The Call function can autonomously pull a vehicle out of a garage or parking space and has been updated to “find you anywhere in the parking lot” from a short distance using the button on the remote control of the car.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE AUTOPILOT?
To quote Tesla ’s website: “All Tesla cars are equipped with hardware that will enable autonomous driving in almost all cases in the future. We believe that its safety level is at least twice that of ordinary drivers.
The company said the upgrade would take place later in 2019, which will enable Autopilot to run on city streets, recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs, and navigate roundabouts. Hope to have a fully autonomous Tesla in the near future. Of course, any assumption is that the company can technically honour its lofty commitments and pass the requirements of federal and local regulations in the process. This may be a more difficult goal in the equation.
To quote Tesla’s website again: “Billions of miles of experience and regulatory approvals indicate that future use of these functions without supervision is far more reliable than human drivers, which may be required in some jurisdictions Longer time. “