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Tesla v7.0 software update boosts self-driving capabilities; Autopilot arrives

Beginning in October 2014, Tesla began equipping Model S vehicles with hardware to support the incremental introduction of self-driving technology: a forward radar; a forward-looking camera; 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds; and a high-precision digitally-controlled electric assist braking system. (Earlier post.)

The company’s latest software release—Tesla Version 7.0—enables a range of new active safety and convenience features based on that hardware, designed to work in conjunction with the automated driving capabilities already offered in Model S: Lane Departure Warning; Blind Spot Warning; Intelligent Speed Assist; Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC); Forward Collision Warning; and Automatic Emergency Braking.

This combined suite of features represents a fully integrated autopilot system involving four different feedback modules: camera, radar, ultrasonics, and GPS.

These mutually reinforcing systems offer realtime data feedback from the Tesla fleet, ensuring that the system is continually learning and improving upon itself.

Autopilot allows Model S to steer within a lane (Autosteer); change lanes with the simple tap of a turn signal (Auto Lane Change); and manage speed by using active, traffic-aware cruise control. Digital control of motors, brakes, and steering helps avoid collisions from the front and sides, as well as preventing the car from wandering off the road. The car can also scan for a parking space, alert the driver when one is available, and parallel park on command (Autopark).

While truly driverless cars are still a few years away, Tesla notes, its Autopilot functions like the systems that airplane pilots use when conditions are clear. The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car.

The v7.0 release also features the most significant visual refresh yet of the digital displays for every single Model S around the world, Tesla said. Along with the new Autopilot features, the instrument cluster’s new driver-focused design shows the real-time information the car uses to intelligently determine the vehicle’s behavior in that moment relative to its surroundings.

The instrument panel provides a visualization of the road as detected by the car’s sensors, giving drivers the information their car is using for features including lane departure, blind spot detection, speed assist, collision warning, adaptive cruise, and autosteer. Click to enlarge.

Autosteer (Beta). Autosteer keeps the car in the current lane and engages Traffic-Aware Cruise Control to maintain the car’s speed. Using a variety of measures including steering angle, steering rate and speed to determine the appropriate operation AutoSteer assists the driver on the road, making the driving experience easier.

Tesla requires drivers to remain engaged and aware when Autosteer is enabled. Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel.

Automatic Emergency Steering and Side Collision Warning. Click to enlarge.

Automatic Emergency Steering and Side Collision Warning. Side Collision Warning further enhances Model S’ active safety capabilities by sensing range and alerting drivers to objects, such as cars, that are too close to the side of Model S. When the car detects an object close to its side, fluid lines will radiate from the Model S image in the Instrument Panel to alert the driver.

Autopark. Model S can now parallel park itself, eliminating the need for drivers to worry about complex and difficult parking maneuvers. When driving at low speeds around cities, a “P” will appear on the Instrument Panel when the Tesla detects a parking spot. The Autopark guide will appear on the touchscreen along with the rear camera display, and, once activated, Autopark will begin to park itself by controlling steering and vehicle speed.



'However, Mr Musk said users adopting the software - available in North America from Thursday - should exercise caution while using it.

"It should not hit pedestrians, hopefully," he told the media. "It should handle them well."

He added that if the car is involved in a collision, the driver is still liable.'


Well worth the $2,500 to be a beta tester for Musk, and assume responsibility if you don't react fast enough when his: 'learning software' has learnt something it shouldn't have.

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Big things have small beginnings and I think this v7 software is the small beginning of Tesla's road to revolutionary and fully self-driving cars that can be voice controlled by its owners or alternatively be voice controlled by a paying passenger in a driverless BEV taxi.

The most interesting stuff are all the new features that will come step by step in the next 5 years. Obviously the current versions of Tesla's cars are not going to become fully self-driving as they lack the necessary sensors and computer power. I think we will see Tesla add new sensors and better sensors and more capable processors in the coming years to their entire model line up. The exiting thing about Tesla is that they are able to keep improving their customers cars after purchase by those OTA updates and battery updates. Hopefully Tesla will also make it possible to update the computer and sensor package so that older Tesla cars can get the fully autonomous capability later on even if it currently does not have the required hardware.

From now on we will be able to follow both Tesla on their progress on autonomous technology by studying those software upgrades as well as Google's progress in their monthly reports here



I fully agree with Henrik that driver improved assistance and autonomous driving will be around, as an optional add-on, from many manufacturers by 2020 and even before.

Small autonomous drive UBER like e-buses, capable of transporting 6 to 10 passengers, could complement (and replace) larger articulated e-buses and subways, at a much lower cost without creating GHG in city centers.

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Here is a CNN test drive of Tesla's new autopilot


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This video is the best demonstration of Tesla's v7 autopilot I have seen on the web. Truly amazing:



There are also videos of the Autopilot trying to go into the crash barrier and kill the driver.


And here is Musk trying to weasel out of all responsibility:


Who in their right mind releases safety critical software in beta form?

Congrats to the team who brought us the Tesla Terminator Autokill feature, yours for only $2,500.

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Davemart too me it looks like the driver deliberately are steering the car recklessly from side to side. And then he discovers this other car coming at him in the opposite lane and make a hard turn to steer away from it. The video does not show the lower part of the steering wheel. I beet the driver is holding his hands on the lower part of the wheel making these reckless slings. He deliberately crosses the full lane marker which is illegal on this road.

Nissan's top Infinity models and Benz top models have similar autopilot as Tesla now have. They are the leaders currently IMO. In Benz's cars if you do not keep your hand on the steering wheel for over 60 sec you will be prompted to get your hands back. Not in Infinity which is similar to Tesla.

In that video you linked to I think Musk very clearly explains that the driver is responsible for driving and for judging when the road conditions are good enough to drive safely with the auto pilot. Personally I would only currently use it at the highway on sections that are maintained well and without any construction. On highways there is no crossing traffic and no opposite traffic and that is much easier to comprehend for a computer. But that is me. Here in the early days of auto-pilot and autonomous driving I think it is important that we simply start to use the technology and then learn along the road even if it occasionally results in some accidents. We need to put it on the road in order to perfect the technology from all the experience that road use will generate. Accidents happens all the time. 1.2 million people are killed in traffic every year and millions more are crippled. And 7 millions die prematurely from air-pollution. Tesla, Benz and Nissan are not interested in causing accidents deliberately and they are clear about that the driver ultimately are responsible. When they have a product where they feel it is safe that they (the automaker) assume responsibility they will tell their customers that because such a product will sell better. Nobody forces you to buy Tesla's autopilot package. If you don't like what it currently is don't buy it.

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There is a good coverage of that v7 software at greecarreports


Musk say only 50 software engineers and 100 hardware engineers are developing the autopilot system for Model S and Model X. These teems are increasing in numbers. Currently Tesla employs 14000 people. Up from a few hundred 5 years ago. Also what sets Tesla's autopilot apart from other top of the line autopilots is its ability to improve itself using data collected everyday from all Tesla's on the road doing 1.5 million miles per day. Autonomous self-parking at private parking spaces will be released by v7.1 in a few month. That will be a world first.

Dr. Strange Love

Just read on Tuesday that Consumer Reports is not recommending the Model S anymore. Reliability issues. Here in Fairfax and Low-Down over the past year I have seen many on the side of the road broken down or on a RollBack. Funny that 97% of the powners said they would buy one again. Drinkin' that coolaide. Hope they get the issues fixed and lower the price. I would consider one then.


READ; http://www.technologyreview.com/view/542626/why-self-driving-cars-must-be-programmed-to-kill/

It may be simpler to have PRT: They run on separated tracks.

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