Top Gear Tests Hands-Free Driving – Tesla Model S P90D Vs BMW 730Ld

2 years ago by Mark Kane 7

Tesla Autopilot - Autosteer

Tesla Autopilot – Autosteer

No Hands

No Hands

Top Gear published an interesting review of hands-free driving in both a Tesla Model P90D and conventional BMW 730Ld.

In the end, the Tesla won because of the simplicity and convenience factor of its Autopilot technology.

“But this test is about technology, and on that score Tesla is ahead. It has realised that the best way to integrate technology is to remove as much complexity as possible, to make it simple to operate. It’s done so brilliantly. The mainstream marques could learn from that.”

In case of Tesla, 14 miles were driven without touching the steering wheel or a pedal (not a record, but enough to impress).

Top Gear notes that both systems – Tesla and BMW – are basic ones (relying primarily on the painted markings and other sensors), without any predictions what is going on ahead. It is seen as the first step to have fully autonomous cars some day.

“And then you wonder if this confidence is misplaced. It can only see 160 metres up the road, and when all’s said and done, the technology is hardly that clever: it spots white lines and sits between them, and keeps you from crashing into the car in front. You compare the car’s sources of information to your own and realise just how basic its vision is.”

BMW’s assisted driving seems more complicated:

“The end result for the customer is a car that comes across as having had technology crammed into a conventional, familiar layout, the consequences being endless menus, baffling complexity, needless options. Take Gesture Control. It’s very clever, and it works well, but why do you need to adjust the volume by orbiting your hand under the mirror, when you already have a knob to do so on the centre console and buttons on the steering wheel? In total, this 7-Series contains six interactive screens, seven if you include the key. It’s just too much. It’s hard to operate.”

source: TopGear

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7 responses to "Top Gear Tests Hands-Free Driving – Tesla Model S P90D Vs BMW 730Ld"

  1. Beta995 says:

    Do you mean to tell me they didn’t find a way to f-it-up?
    Hell Froze Over.

    1. ffbj says:

      Good thing I kept my hockey skates, sitting up in the attic for 25 years.

  2. tosho says:

    “the technology is hardly that clever: it spots white lines and sits between them, and keeps you from crashing into the car in front. You compare the car’s sources of information to your own and realise just how basic its vision is.” – this is a quite incompetent statement.

    1. ffbj says:

      Right, some people are not even capable of that. Problem being, since most accidents are caused by distracted driving, no matter how good you are, the collective you, at perceiving, if you are not looking where you are going you will still crash, the stupid ai will not text while driving.

    2. tosho says:

      Besides the line recognizing cameras and the sensors on the car there is also the GPS location and a huge amount of data about the road that the car has access to over the internet. Ever wondered why Tesla put the autopilot hardware on every car (even without the software)? Well, this hardware is always on and it always records information about the road and about how you drive on it. This information is later used to perform simulated test runs of the autopilot software or to aid car autopilots that drive on the given road. Modern autopilot systems can already “see” the road much better than a human can. The problem is that they still can’t process the huge amount if information they have access to very well.

  3. pjwood1 says:

    Beyond taking over the worst of the worst, stop & go driving, personally I think the rest will be diminishing returns.

  4. Robert says:

    Nevertheless, the BMW review with gesture control has nothing to do with autosteering.

    “BMW’s assisted driving seems more complicated:” – and then gesture control is explained? what about explaining how autosteering works in BMW 7 series, since it is supposed to be compicated?!

    Moreover I would be curious about a comparison of new Mercedes E-class with Tesla regarding autopilot.