A little snow isn't enough to keep Autopilot from going down the street.
Tesla’s Autopilot 8.0 software is few months old, and winter is offering drivers a chance to see how the semi-autonomous system works in the snow. A video now shows the tech at work at night on a road with obscured lane markings. The vehicle only reaches 30 miles per hour (48 kilometers per hour), but it’s still an impressive showcase of the code’s performance.
Upon entering Autopilot here, the system occasionally shows that it can sense the curb but not consistently. Autosteer continues to keep the vehicle in the lane, though. According to Electrek, the key to the tech working in these conditions is the way Tesla’s software combines data from the sensors. Combining input from the GPS, cameras, and radar is enough to keep the vehicle on track.
Tesla doesn’t want drivers to use Autopilot in adverse conditions. The driver here is being quite safe, though. The vehicle’s speed is low enough to easily take control if something goes wrong. Plus, the only other traffic visible in the clip is a stationary police cruiser.
Tesla’s 8.0 software arrived in September as one of the biggest updates in the company’s history. Among the changes, the update allowed the company’s vehicles to make greater use of their front-mounted radar by allowing them to create a 3D image of the road.
In October, the company introduced even more sophisticated hardware for its latest vehicles. The tweaks included the addition of 12 ultrasonic sensors, eight cameras, improved radar, and a more powerful computer for processing so much data. A recent video highlighted exactly what each of these systems was seeing on the road. To prove this new technology, Tesla will hold a stunt sometime in 2017 where a vehicle will drive from New York, New York, to Los Angeles, California, with no driver input.