Tesla announced that all its new cars will be self-driving. CEO Elon Musk has said the self-driving tech will run in “shadow mode” until it can be driven on roads.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has announced that all its new cars will be self-driving. This could however be a long road for the US automaker; the motor company has struggled with press scrutiny recently and their statement is a bold vision for their future.
CEO Elon Musk has played down the immediacy of the hardware’s usage, saying the self-driving tech will run in “shadow mode” until it can be driven on roads. This means records can be made of the potential of the technology when it becomes fully active. The website claims the technology is capable of “a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver”. Indeed, room for human error is eliminated and the updates have almost doubled the detection distance of objects from the prior generation. Radar capability can penetrate adverse weather conditions as far as 160 meters. The radar, sonar and vision software goes through an inbuilt computer that sees a world far beyond what human eyes and ears can witness. Should the Enhanced Autopilot software be approved, it should be implemented in December 2016.
If you issue no instructions for a destination, your car will look at your calendar and take you where you need to be. Once it has parked itself, one click on your phone returns your vehicle to you, via wireless data delivery.
Tesla has just introduced software update 8.0 for the touchscreen interface that also responds to voice commands and programs HomeLink, a device to open your garage door or front gate.
The Tesla Team’s blog post insists that over-the-air (OTA) software updates “will keep customers at the forefront of technology”. These allow Tesla to remotely refine their operating systems.
Tesla is now foraging for statistics in order to prove to consumers, investors and regulators that all their models are roadworthy. Remote research and development in this beta stage will help iron out any kinks. Not only will it recover logged data in the event of an accident but crucially it will assess the degree of involvement Autopilot would have had in the crash, whether good or bad. This would have been impossible before cloud computing, that can handle huge amounts of data and years of driving information.
This positive declaration should encourage investing and ensures Tesla continues manufacturing cars instead of waiting for the technology to be signed off and then retroactively and expensively fitted. Tesla has high hopes that its Model 3 car, including the Enhanced Autopilot and its most affordable yet, will appeal to a different demographic and boost sales figures.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Emma Harwood, hold no direct investment in any company mentioned in this article.