Tesla Cars Can Drive Themselves Starting Today

Thursday, 15 October 2015 - 1:49PM
Robotics
Thursday, 15 October 2015 - 1:49PM
Tesla Cars Can Drive Themselves Starting Today
Starting today, drivers of Tesla's electric cars can take their hands off of the wheel. Tesla just launched version 7.0 of their Model S software, which enables self-driving features. It's not a 100% autonomous car yet, but it's pretty close.


Tesla first announced their intention to add self-driving capability to all of their cars last year, and added all of the necessary sensors to all of the cars on their assembly lines starting last September, but needed more time to work out the kinks in the algorithm. Now, they're ready to fully unveil their robotic cars, which use a feature called Autosteer to keep the car in the current lane, as well as maintain speed and distance from the car ahead. Other self-driving features include Autopark, which scans for available parking spots and parks the car itself, and Auto Lane Change, which automatically moves the car to the next lane by touching the turn signal.

Elon Musk was careful to emphasize that it's still a beta feature, so Tesla does not advise that drivers actually take their hands off of the wheel or take a nap. "If there is an accident, the driver of the car is responsible," Musk said, but went on to say that someday soon, the self-driving capabilities will be reliable enough to absolve the driver of responsibility entirely.

Indeed, this seems to be one significant step closer to fully autonomous cars; Tesla claims that the tech's learning capabilities will make it more reliable over time, and that a robotic car that allows the driver to sleep for the entire drive is only about three years away (although it may take several more years to work out the legal issues). In the meantime, Tesla drivers shouldn't take their hands off the wheel, or at the very least should stay awake.

Via The Verge.
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