Tesla Model S Becomes Almost-Autonomous, Records Driver Data [w/Video]
Yesterday, Tesla announced that its cars will be converted into autonomous cars. Well, nearly autonomous. The California-based electric automaker is sending over-the-air (OTA) updates to those Model S vehicles that are already on the road, and this nearly-autonomous upgrade is one of the biggest updates ever. As early as today, roughly 60,000 examples of the Model S are an OTA update that gives the electric performance sedan a suite of self-driving attributes. The Model S can now automatically steer, change lanes, and self-park. This is a quantum leap in commuting technology, but you can’t quite call it a fully autonomous car. Not yet. RELATED: A Tesla Model Y is Coming, but a Redesigned Model S is Not
According to Wired, first feature is Autosteer, which uses sensors to keep the Model S in the lane on the highway. It even curves as the highway curves, at speeds over 18 mph. The feature will not work over 90 mph, and the Model S reminds drivers to put their hands on the wheel. If you do not, the car will come to a stop and put the hazards on. This is to keep you from falling asleep.
When in Autosteer mode, Auto Lane Change will allow the Model S to move over one lane without steering input from the driver, simply by moving the turn signal in that direction (see video below). The Model S will also park itself. But through all of this Tesla is getting something in return.
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Sensors only go so far in providing a map for the Model S, but some roads have faded lines, and Autosteer falters in those situations. To respond, Elon Musk is having all the cars on the road send their driving data back to Tesla HQ. Once there, Tesla will compile it to create a more detailed map of the American highways and byways.
It will eventually make the self-driving features of the Model S even more comprehensive, but are Tesla owners comfortable with the company tracking your movements? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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