The Lotus Eletre is targeting Level 4 autonomy, per a new report from British outlet AutoCar. Lotus believes Level 4 autonomy will be possible on the Eletre thanks to its integrated lidar sensors. For reference, Tesla is currently on Level 2 autonomy. This means its vehicles can act autonomously but drivers are still required to keep their hands on the wheel and be ready to take over instantly.
As you may recall, back in 2021 Tesla decided to reduce costs by relying solely on cameras as opposed to radar for its driver assistance system. Many industry experts believe this move has held Tesla back, with rival brands like GM now arguably superior when it comes to self-driving thanks to their combination of radar and cameras.
The CEO of the Lotus Robotics division, Li Bo, recently spoke about how he likes to measure success when it comes to self-driving tech. Bo prefers a ‘hands-off’ approach which sees how far the vehicle can go without any form of human intervention. Currently test versions of the Eletre can drive for over 120 miles in mixed conditions without intervention. That number is constantly increasing, with the ultimate goal being 100,000km (62,150 miles) per intervention - effectively meaning no human interaction will be required whatsoever.
The Eletre, which is now on sale in China, will constantly improve its autonomy thanks to OTA (Over-The-Air) updates. It's possible that by the time it arrives in the US in 2024 it will have hands-off self-driving. Lotus wants the Eletre to have different autonomous behavior for different drivers. This means slower drivers will have more relaxed autonomous experiences, meanwhile more eager customers will be able to enjoy the Eletre's rapid acceleration more often.