Tesla Autopilot Now Being Tested By Select Model S Owners

AUG 20 2015 BY MARK KANE 13

Tesla Won't Rely on Blow-Up Autopilots

Tesla Won’t Rely on Blow-Up Autopilots

Acording to IEEE Spectrum, Tesla Motors began beta testing of Autopilot with a group of selected Model S owners.

There is no official details on what exactly is being tested nor on how many customers were selected. Beta testers probably signed some kind of a non-disclosure agreement and they are tight-lipped for now.

What we now is that implemented features are more driver assistance systems, rather than autonomous drive.

 “Tomorrow, Tesla is to begin uploading the latest version of its Autopilot software to a select group of of its Model S electric cars. The owners of these vehicles will act as beta testers, putting their cars through wringers never imagined by the company’s pros. If all goes well, a wider roll out will come later in the year.”

“Tesla’s beta testers will indeed be drivers, not merely passengers, because Autopilot 7.0 represents only a small step up from the previous package of driver assistance systems. It will manage lane-keeping, mind the gap to the car in front and behind, and handle much of the braking and acceleration. But testers will still have to oversee all operations and register their alertness—if only for legal purposes—by hitting the turn signal indicator every so often.”

Tesla intends to do its own mapping because there are no publicly available mapping services of sufficient resolution for autonomous driving. Maybe this is why Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz bought Nokia’s mapping service.

Source: IEEE Spectrum

Categories: Tesla


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13 Comments on "Tesla Autopilot Now Being Tested By Select Model S Owners"

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I’ve been testing ELR’s for over 6 months now. Works pretty good.

Doesn’t do lane-keeping and it wouldn’t work in Texas anyway. The lane markers don’t have enough contrast. The lane alert feature is turned off because it ticked me off.

“because there are no publicly available mapping services of sufficient resolution for autonomous driving”
So either Google maps isn’t publicly available or it doesn’t have the resolution?

GMaps has a free to use API?

Since Google Maps is already integrated into the car, I am guessing it is a resolution issue. I don’t think I would trust Google Maps to know exactly where the lane is on a road.

I’m pretty sure that’s right. Note that Google’s self-driving car project uses cars quipped to scan roads. They wouldn’t need to do that if the publicly available Google Maps data had sufficient resolution.

Or perhaps it’s not precisely a matter of resolution, as that self-driving cars need certain data, such as the precise location of the edge of the lanes, and this data cannot be reliably pulled from the existing Google Maps data and photos.

The cars will likely need to be provided with data on where stop lights and stop signs are located, especially on multi-lane roads where another vehicle might block the car being able to “see” a stop sign in real time.

What puzzles me is Musk’s recent statement about an “edge case” near dusk where the car had difficulty detecting the edge of the lane. If the location of lane edges is provided to the car by a database, then why does the car need to “see” it?

Either I’m wrong about data provided by pre-scanning, or perhaps there’s a need for the car to see the lane edges “in real time” to sync up the pre-scanned data with the car’s current exact position.

Even if Google Maps did have millimeter resolution (and there’s no way it does), per GPS.gov, civilian GPS accuracy is about 3-4 meters for a quality unit. I do not want my car to be following the lane with +/- 3 meter accuracy. 🙂

What features does it have? I just test drove a 70D with assisted cruise control (not the beta, just what’s released already) and was impressed how it handles complete stop and go for me in commute traffic, just holding steering wheel and not touching any pedals. I like how just pulling the cruise control lever to me sets the target speed to current speed limit rather than me having to adjust up and down from wherever I currently am.

Thanks for relating the experience – that sounds really cool, and exactly what I hoped assisted cruise control would be like. I’d love a feature like that, since I’ve never owned a car with any sort of adaptive cruise control. I’ve seen it demonstrated once on a Fully Charged episode with a different brand of vehicle).

In this release you would also not have your hands on the wheel for highway driving. Just tap the blinker when you want to change lanes.

Plus you get the “auto summon” feature (on private property).

Creative Tesla Owners + Auto Lane Keeping + YouTube = ?

“look Mom….no hands!…oooohhhh my God son…have you lost your mind…put you hands back on that wheel!….”

…will be interesting videos!

Can you combine AutoPilot and Ludicrous Mode? Inquiring Insurance Companies might want to know…

The BMW I3 is available with full stop-n-go Active Cruise Control, I don’t think it has any lane keeping features. My Fusion Energi has Adaptive Cruise Control but it’s not full stop-n-go. My Energi will slow down to 10 mph before the ACC kicks off. My Energi also has lane keeping but it doesn’t do lane centering. I keep hoping Ford will come out with a software upgrade that will allow my Energi to do hands free lane centering. Super Cruise with lane centering is supposed to come out on 2017 Cadillacs. There are videos on YouTube showing Cadillac Super Cruise in operation.

In Europe the i3 Stop-and-Go will steer up to about 20 MPH. The i3 has issues with it’s ACC though since it’s only camera based. Sun glints , frost, and fog on the windshield will disengage the system without warning.