As Promised, Tesla Autopilot 8.0 Sees Several Cars Ahead – Video


Autopilot 8.0 Sees Ahead

Autopilot 8.0 Sees Ahead

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that Autopilot 8.0 would feature enhanced radar detection, one of the abilities of the system he noted was that it could in theory see several cars ahead via something he refers to as “Radar echo.” Quoting Musk:

“Now if the car in front of you suddenly swerves, we’ve already seen the obstacle in front.”

According to Musk, there are some restrictions, like, for example, a vehicle in your path with very low ground clearance that could block the radar:

“It would have to be very very low. Even if a car had six inches clearance, it should be able to work.” 

While Musk was promising these abilties in theory, we hadn’t seen the system in action until now.

Video description:

“Initial Thoughts on AutoPilot in v8.0, with only limited testing time.”

And what the video shows is that in fact Autopilot 8.0 can now see several cars ahead in the real world, which means that what Musk promised is indeed the truth.

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31 Comments on "As Promised, Tesla Autopilot 8.0 Sees Several Cars Ahead – Video"

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That’s great. You get a better view of the situation, especially if you are behind a van or a semi-truck because contrary to cars you can’t see through the front car windows

I wonder if that is part of AP or just as a standard feature because I don’t want AP but would be interested in having this enhanced view.

Musk, himself, might have advanced radar detection

Yes, according to Alfred he does 😉


The major break through will come when cars will be able to link self driving systems for (swarm view) extending your view through the cars around you. At that point you should be able to put your signal light on an the other self driving cars would adjust to let you in.

For me a real issue for self driving is that all vehicles on the road (eg. 53 foot trailers and cars need 6 points around veh) should have small reflective identifiers standard at the factory.

Maybe intersections could have swarm wi-fi to push unseen vehicle movement to the cars AI.

A car that sets “let him in” versus “don’t let him in” is already what Tesla is providing. People will pay up for the decision, while others submit to the “swarm”.

Tesla’s AP sets follow-distance, by manual option.

Ian said:

“The major break through will come when cars will be able to link self driving systems for (swarm view) extending your view through the cars around you. At that point you should be able to put your signal light on an the other self driving cars would adjust to let you in.”

Exactly! That’s one of the most exciting things I see coming with self-driving cars; that they will communicate with each other and/or with a central traffic control “node”, and thus build up a picture of local traffic and road conditions far beyond what any single car can “see”.

This will be the electronic equivalent of crowd-sourced knowledge.

“This will be the electronic equivalent of crowd-sourced knowledge.”

More likely this will be the equivalent of electronic politeness as your car allows somebody to make a late lane change because they aren’t paying attention to begin with….

Late lane change?

If the car is driving, it will know about the needed lane change before you pull out of the driveway.

This is one of the changes which should make things much better.

Um… I don’t think you have quite thought this through. You won’t need to signal, as the car knows where it’s going (you programmed it into the satnav) and therefore all the other cars know where your car wants to go and so will adapt their relative speed/position to accommodate your car without any driver intervention required.

Such technology will also illuminate all the ‘jockeying’ that humans drivers do all the time, mostly because they want to sit at a fixed speed but, because all their speedos read slightly differently, they all end up constantly going a bit faster or a bit slower than everyone else despite the fact that their speedos are all reading the same.

If all vehicles used the same standard for speed measurement then a vast chunk of this silliness would disappear leaving a much more disciplined and therefore smoother and more efficient journey – for all.

Three cars ahead is pretty good.

How’s it coming with the broadside of a semi problem?

It’ll still crash into the broadside of a semi at full speed, but now before impact Autopilot will be able to detect if there are any stopped cars on the other side of the semi.


Doesn’t Tesla OS 8.0 simply – flip the car, slide under the semi, and leave the Drive train Behind, keeping the driver safe, as it sheers of the (now Bottom) of the car?


(By the way – this is not Autopilot 8.0, we still don’t have AP 2.0 yet! This is OS 8.0 – with AP Tweaking!)

Maybe more like AP 1.5 / 1.7ish?

The fact that Tesla’s software engineers came up with a Temporal Sampling trick to get 3D LIDAR-ish Point Clouds out of a simple 2D sensor that was never designed to collect data in such a fashion: is truly impressive.

Add the fact that a simple overnight software update allows the ENTIRE AutoPilot equipped fleet to utilize this innovation, at no inconvenience or additional expense to the customer– is the closest thing to “Magic” I can think of.

Based on fleet learning, at some point the AP will know that there shouldn’t be any roadside signs at that location and will identify a stopped/cross-traffic vehicle as an obstruction and brake accordingly.

This isn’t a new idea (Nissan was talking about it in 2011; see:

The difference is that Tesla actually shipped it. I am inclined to think that this will help improve the fatality rate of Tesla Autopilot cars, which is at least 13x higher per mile than non-Autopilot Teslas, due the fact that it was rushed to market with a known flaw.

The ‘known flaw’, was drivers not using the system properly, after agreeing to use it properly.

The rate at which B.S. is posted by serial Tesla bashers like “Four Electrics” is at least 14x higher than the B.S. rate for people who are not Tesla bashers. /scarcasm

Do we really need to revisit the absolute absurdity of trying to do statistical analysis based on a sample size of 1? There has been only one (1), count it one, fatality by someone in a Tesla car confirmed to be operating on autopilot. For those who don’t understand why a sample size of 1 cannot possibly be the basis of a real statistical analysis, just consider how radically the nominal ratio will change when there is another fatality. The rate will double just from one single incident! …or possibly more than double, if there is more than one person in the car.


Based on your research, do you have any hot stock recommendations for me? 😉

Trolls. Always trolls.

Four Brain Cells — Show me how to draw a line using only one point.

So sick of intentionally stupid people.

He’s probably not stupid, but his agenda clearly is.

Version 8’s auto-hide of the controls has to be the stupidest thing. Having to strike the screen, and then witness moving controls reappear before you can operate them, is nuts. Its bad enough you have to look at a touch screen, to operate one. Now, they’re doubling down on the “eyes off road” factor.

I wonder how many of NHTSA reported 10% increase in traffic fatalities is coming from “human error”, looking away from the road and at touch screens. Are we compromising safety, to meet the philosophy that we can’t drive??

If this was actually a common problem, then wouldn’t we be reading about people having accidents due to trying to use their car’s navigation system?

Drivers taking their eyes off the road for a moment, for a second or two, while they operate controls related to driving the car, are not the problem. They are still paying attention to driving. The problem comes when someone quits paying attention to driving, and focuses on using their cellphone to talk to someone, or send a text message, or search for a Pokemon, or whatever.

Every driver takes his eyes off the road briefly, and frequently, to check the speedometer and other instrument panel gauges. Momentarily taking your eyes off the road isn’t a problem. Does using a touch screen really take that much more time than glancing at the speedometer?

Before we claim that using an electronic screen’s touch controls cause distracted driving, I think we need to see some evidence that it actually does.

There’s no logic to increasing the time someone’s eyes are off the road. 1 second = 100 feet, at 70mph, and you’ve just enabled the tools on your nav? You wouldn’t need evidence, if you’ve ever come across a raccoon, deer, etc. The hidden icon “feature” was meant for those not finding 17 inches of navigation screen enough. What there is little evidence of, is people clamoring for such a feature. It’s Tesla’s market to lose, to have folks preferring electric drive, who also prefer one or both of driving and autonomy. Moves favoring an autonomy at the expense of driving are right in line with Model 3’s center screen only design (HUD can’t replace dash). They’re akin to having an update which forces you to look at AP’s sensor screen, even when you’re just driving along. Akin to not allowing more power out of a turn because you’ve gone to a single drive mode, on your $100k “Performance” car. What Musk is eventually going to find out is where some people on his bus get off, because all somebody else had to do was a good job electrifying and the other things they already do. I won’t assume independent… Read more »

I wonder if it sees angels and aeirials in leather and chrome comin’ down from heaven to carry me home.

Impressive spatial resolution from a single radar sensor, even with supplemental info from the camera.

Anyone know if this is an X or S? Just wondering about Wh/mile.

I find the way cars in adjacent lanes suddenly appear or disappear to be a little distracting, but perhaps one gets used to it. And what’s up with the “meteor shower” effect?

Doggydogworld asked:

“Anyone know if this is an X or S?”

I think it’s a MS, from the image shown on the Autopilot display.

My model S 2015 has this system. I guess all the models with autopilot from 2014 has the capability.

What would this system be able to do – with Two Radars, and Two Cameras – but placing them at the left an right windshield corners, for Wide Vision Stereo?

I figure they put them in the center – just hiding them behind the mirror – for simplicity, but Narrow Vision Stereo – won’t be as solid a 3D Picture, IMO, as Wide placed Sensors.

Also – imagine – if they put Two Cameras at the back window – roof line edge, for approaching traffic at the back?

I have at times, seen traffic approaching from the rear at speeds in excess of 40 Mph faster than my speed, so – could cameras alone analyse that – and update the screen and the safety plan, so that you don’t change lanes and get rear ended by such a vehicle, or would you need the radars back there to paint that data faster?

I suspect after the Temporal Sampling innovation happened and its true usefulness was vetted; there was likely a fundamental directional change in what hardware would be needed for the AutoPilot 2.0 Project.

Radar was quickly discounted early on by many anti-Tesla bashers, as a limited sensor that couldn’t possibly be used for longer range scanning of the vehicles, especially for detecting fast approaching vehicles from behind.

With what the world has seen with the software brilliance of Tesla’s Engineers, and Bosch’s Programmable Radar Sensors, we can now posit that imaging 3D Radar Bounces might actually outperform cameras or even LIDAR for this use.

The meteor shower is the reflection of yellow street lights off the surface of the screen.. I presume. pretty