Over the last few months, Tesla’s Model X prototypes have been spotted several times in California. And now YouTube user Flathillll (via Business Insider) has posted a spy video of a Model X prototype that carries mysterious external sensors. You could see sensors at the top and sides of the SUV. Business Insider also spotted a sensor near the front of Model X.
Elon Musk personally testing autopilot
These sensors could be an improved version of Tesla’s autopilot technology. The technology relies on forward-facing radar and cameras, and 360-degree sonar to avoid obstacles, follow road signs and speed limits, and navigate traffic. Last month, Tesla founder Elon Musk revealed that he was personally testing the autopilot technology on his Model S sedan.
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Tesla has ramped up R&D expenditure to improve the autopilot functionality and produce self-driving cars in the near future. Tech heavyweights like Google and Apple, as well as automakers like Ford have joined the race to bring their own self-driving cars to the market.
Tesla Model X to get ‘ludicrous speed’
What’s more, Tesla has revealed that the much-awaited Model X will get ‘ludicrous speed’ feature. Though the electric vehicle maker hasn’t tested the feature in Model X, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg that it will go from zero to 60mph in 3.3 seconds. Earlier this month, Musk said he was expecting Model X to double the company’s sales. The Palo Alto-based company has already received over 20,000 pre-orders for its upcoming crossover.
Tesla is set to launch Model S in September. Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brad Erickson, who recently visited Tesla’s Fremont facility, said that the company had dedicated 3-4 times more robots on Model X production line than the Model S line. A Tesla spokesperson in Beijing said last week that Model X won’t arrive in China until early next year. The company is opening 5-6 new showrooms and expanding its Supercharger network in China.