Recently Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased that a new update would be offered on October 17th and true to his word he has announced what this new item is. Those who have been waiting for the next part of the Model 3 to be shown are unfortunately disappointed, but they can’t be too upset considering this announcement gave us the information that will help keep Tesla at the head of the table when it comes to the integration of autonomous software for the future. The new is that ever car that will be built now and in the future will have the equipment necessary to offer fully autonomous driving.
Tesla plans to achieve this with eight surround cameras that will provide a full 360-degree look at the vehicle and the surrounding area to a range of up to 250 meters. This camera system will be assisted by twelve ultrasonic sensors that will complement the vision and allow for the detection of objects in the area. This enhanced system will allow the Tesla vehicle to see nearly twice as far as before. There will also be a forward facing radar that’s been updated and fitted with a redundant wavelength to be able to see through heavy rain, fog, dust and the vehicle in front of the Tesla car.
In order to make sure this system could work, new models will have a new computer onboard that will be more than forty times as powerful as the outgoing system. This new computer will be able to run the new neural net for the vision, sonar and radar processing software in order to give the vehicle a full view of the surrounding area and the perfect field of vision for the right decisions to be made while driving on the road.
Currently Tesla is building new Model S and Model X vehicles with this new system that will be capable of accepting over the air updates to make it eventually be able to handle fully autonomous driving. Current models that have this new system will actually come off the assembly line with fewer activated features than older models because these additional features need to be calibrated and validated by real world driving data. Once this calibration is complete these vehicles will be able to make use of the systems and features that all other Tesla models already enjoy.
Having the hardware in place and feeling like they have at least that part of the equation figured out certainly puts Tesla back in the lead when it comes to the race to bring autonomous driving vehicles to the market. Even though Tesla has been mired in the press with some of the accidents that have occurred over the past several months, they are marching forward at a rapid pace. I guess all the miles on the road without accidents is certainly enough to let us know that these cars are safe and most of the accidents are caused by human error. It won’t be long now before we have full capability.