Tesla confirms all new cars will be self-driving

20 Oct 201619 Shares

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Tesla Model S at the Geneva Car Show. Image: Jia Li/Shutterstock

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All Tesla vehicles in production – including the Model 3 – will have autonomous driving capabilities, the Elon Musk-led company has confirmed.

Tesla revealed yesterday that all new cars will come with $8,000 worth of self-driving hardware, even before the software is ready.

The new hardware will be installed in the upcoming Model 3, as well as the Model S and Model X vehicles in production.

‘Together, this system provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses’
– TESLA

What this means essentially is that even though new cars will be capable of self-driving, they will only gain these capabilities over time as new software updates come available.

The development comes on the heels of news that Tesla will be opening its first Irish car showroom as well introducing charge points.

Tesla promises systems safer than a human driver

Tesla – which is currently battling cases where cars using Autopilot have crashed – claims the hardware will accelerate the carmaker to a new era, where cars will be “substantially safer than a human driver” and which will ultimately lower the cost of transport.

The hardware that will be included on all new Tesla cars from today will come with eight surround cameras that provide 360-degree visibility around the car to 250 metres of range.

Twelve ultrasonic sensors will complement the machine vision capabilities, allowing for the detection of both hard and soft objects at twice the distance of the prior system.

A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing will provide additional data on a redundant wavelength, giving information that enables the car to see through heavy rain, fog, dust and even other cars ahead.

“To make sense of all of this data, a new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation runs the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar-processing software,” the company said.

“Together, this system provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.”

Tesla said that millions of miles of real-world driving experience will be used to calibrate the systems.

“While this is occurring, Teslas with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control.

“As these features are robustly validated, we will enable them over the air, together with a rapidly expanding set of entirely new features.”

Tesla Model S at Geneva car show. Image: Jia Li/Shutterstock.com

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com