A Silicon Valley, California based company Tesla, Inc. previously known as to be Tesla Motors has always tried to bring innovation in whatever they have produced so far. This time around too, Elon Musk is planning huge after the success of Model S. Model S has an autopilot system, thus making it a semi-autonomous car with option of parking automatically. His claims sound too amazing to be true with the kind of technical and legal issues that are lying ahead in bringing in a fully self-driven car by the end of 2017. But that also describes the ambitiousness of the co-founder itself and if he is able to achieve that then surely it will bring about so much economic changes around the world and also this will be a good news for medically bound patients who cannot or are not allowed to drive.
TESLA’S AUTOPILOT SYSTEM
Tesla started the road of producing electric cars from Tesla Roadster, which was bring forth in 2008. After gaining good reception, Tesla came up with a semi-autonomous system i.e. Autopilot that will assist the drivers while driving. The Autopilot system during 2014-2015 used Hardware1 and by the year 2016 it has been updated to Hardware 2. The Hardware 2 is being updated as necessary after every 2 or 3 months bringing in more features such that the new features come under Enhanced features of Autopilot System. The Autopilot system has been the part of cars produced under Tesla including Model S and Model X, the up-coming car Model 3 will also have this particular system. It is being said that the Enhanced Autopilot system will cost around 8000$, keeping aside the cost of the Tesla car.
HARDWARE 2.0 FEATURES
- Nividia Drive PX2 computing system is used that will help in handling the car.
- Consists of 8 surround cameras with 360 degree view.
- 12 ultrasonic sensors that will detect hard and soft objects ahead.
- Can auto-park, thus enabling the car to be perfectly parallel parked or even perpendicularly.
- Summon, this option will allow the car to be automatically driven out from the parking.
- Adaptive cruise control, the autopilot system will enable the car to have traffic sense and thus will maintain good distance from car above or on side.
- Speed limit signs will be detected by the cameras and will be notified to the driver.
- Can change lane automatically without the driver’s assistance.
- Although the LIDAR feature is still under consideration, due to being expensive. But having this attribute will make the car 100% safe.
ENHANCED AUTOPILOT FEATURES FACE FEW HICCUPS
- The deadline is itself the biggest problem for the Tesla, Inc. at the moment. Never has it been that the electric company has ever finished their any project on the given time and thus that is something very embarrassing for a big company like theirs. Since Tesla, Inc. is not the only one to be building a fully autonomous car, Tesla faces challenge against Google and Ford. But both the latter companies’ promise to achieve this target not earlier than 2021, i.e. after four years from the expected launch of Tesla’s full-fledged autopilot features.
- Tesla, Inc. aims to build the self-driven car on limited budget so that the buyers can keep their interests latched on their products but this aim of theirs is still under question since many experts are of the opinion that the car can only be 100% safe if it has LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) option. This attribute will allow the car’s radar to work properly even in the rough weather like fog or rain and the visibility can never become an issue. But LIDAR is an expensive scanner that will double the cost of the tech package.
- The first crash that the Tesla faced was in May, 2016, in the car Model S which was in autopilot mode. The car crashed into the 18 wheeler trailer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) obviously investigated the whole case, in order to rule out any kind of defects or faults in the car. By July 2016, the case was also handed over to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) but since there was no actual case against Tesla thus it was closed with no blame being given to the company.
- Tesla can only launch and introduce their product once they have passed their test set by the NHTSA and that the product fully follows the safety laws of the vehicle and will not endanger the life of the driver and the pedestrians as well.
Tesla has many challenges ahead of their game, and if they manage to impress the regulatory board and their buyers with the enhanced Autopilot features their product will be ready for market by 2019. We, thus, wish all the very best to the Tesla team!