Say what? Tesla Autopilot can now navigate more roads with no lane lines and no lead vehicle to follow? Can't be true...or can it?
YouTuber, friend of InsideEVs and Tesla Model S owner KmanAuto uploaded this video showing that with Firmware 8, Autopilot can now navigate winding roads without lane lines and with no lead vehicle to follow.
Kman put out this extensive write up (and usage disclaimer) along with the video:
Tesla Autopilot: Driving Autonomously? NO LINES! And NO Lead Vehicle!
--------------------------------------------------------------- While I am still not a fan of most of the "Changes" in Firmware 8, how Tesla enhanced the radar, and the autopilot systems actual functionality in Firmware 8 is nothing short of AMAZING! One big change recently, the car has been allowing me to activate Autopilot on roads that previously it would never allow me to! (Please! Don't attempt these tests! They can be dangerous!)
Lately, I have also been seeing a increase in confidence, and the vehicle has become able to navigate much more "Intense" roads (Think, winding roads, where the camera cannot see the lines ahead as far). Many roads which the car would force me to take over, it now travels with little or no issues! Roads it would not allow me to activate at all, it's allowing not only autopilot activation, but also navigating perfectly!
My conclusion, in the manner in which this "Revelation" the ability the car had, was almost like a light switch being flipped. What I would need to say is, it really appears Tesla flipped the giant master switch on the Autopilot's Deep Learning AI, and now the cars are beginning to make use of the Millions upon Millions of accumulated fleet learning. Both active and passive! I also conclude it's not a fluke, as these are roads I travel down daily.
Despite standard Autopilot 1.0 not being "designed" for surface streets, I have always pushed the limits of Tesla's Tech, see where the borders are, and I can assure you, with no changes to these roads, I am seeing these major changes now! In the video, the car uses what it CAN see to keep a lane lock, which in this case, it shows a positive lock on the curb for short periods of time. Though, it loses this frequently. Even with the snow covering much of the curb, between what it CAN see of the road, along with intermittent input of the Ultrasonic Sensors (And of course, the radar, though we don't know what the radar sees in this scenario due to lack of system feedback) it was able to keep us going with enough confidence that it didn't think I needed to take over.
Some parts it did get a bit shaky, especially with oncoming traffic blinking the Autopilot camera intermittently, but it kept going.