Tesla says that all the electric cars that it builds will have full hardware support for self-driving. However, it will still be years before the cars become fully self-driving despite the sensors, radars and cameras being introduced, explains the BBC. Last year, the EV firm took its first step towards self-driving by introducing its Autopilot system, enabling some self-drive functions like auto-braking.
Full autonomy on all Tesla cars
Tesla announced that it is giving all new vehicles the hardware for “full self-driving capabilities,” including 12 ultrasonic sensors that can detect both soft and hard objects and eight cameras with 360-degree viewing at up to 820 feet. In addition, the cars will come with a new forward-facing radar to help see through dust, fog and rain.
Musk says, “The full autonomy update will be standard on all Tesla vehicles from here on out.”
The automaker says that before handing the car fully over to a computer, it needs to calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving.
The hardware will run in “shadow mode” for now and collect information on when the tech may have avoided or caused accidents if it had been in control of the car. Musk hopes that the automaker can show regulators significant data one day demonstrating that self-driving technology is more secure than having humans behind the wheel, said Musk.
Disabling some Autopilot features temporarily
Musk said the hardware is capable of “Level 5 autonomy.” This is a big step taken by the automaker. The Tesla CEO said its hardware was “a super-computer” in a car. However, he also said it was up to the public and regulators to decide when self-driving vehicles could actually be used on the roads.
“Full autonomy will enable a Tesla to be substantially safer than a human driver, lower the financial cost of transportation for those who own a car and provide low-cost on-demand mobility for those who do not, the EV firm said.
The new electric cars will not have access to some safety features that older Teslas have, like collision warning, active cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane holding, notes The Verge. According to the electric car maker, these features will be activated when they are “robustly validated.”
This latest announcement appears more necessary to keep up the confidence of investors that the automaker is worth backing despite missing revenue targets and sales over the past year, says the BBC. Musk had promised that they would be making profit comfortably by now, but he clearly has not managed that.