Tesla upgrades its Autopilot to use onboard radar to avoid future accidentsBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 12 September 2016 | Categories: news
It has been a little over three months since an Autopiloted Tesla Model S crashed into a truck in the States. Since then, Tesla and its head Elon Musk, went on the defensive explaining that the Autopilot system did not recognise the truck in question, instead mistaking it for a road sign. Regrettably, it resulted in the death of the Tesla Model S owner, and understandably questions have been raised over the accuracy of the carmaker's Autopilot system. To that end, Tesla recently detailed a new iteration of its self-driving software named Autopilot (8.0).
The new upgrade features a number of changes that include more than the guidance and tracking system of the Autopilot, but the most significant update sees version eight of the software utilise the onboard radar cameras of the Tesla to read and analyse the road ahead.
Said radar cameras were installed or manufactured as standard on all Tesla models from October 2014 onwards. As for what that means for owners of Tesla cars before then, no additional information has been detailed at this time.
With the onboard radar camera being the primary means of running Autopilot, Tesla notes that it has had to update the system in version eight to have far more information about different types of objects.
In the past for example, something as small as a soft drink can would be amplified to several times its normal size as a result of how its reflective metal surface is interpreted by radar. According to Tesla, issues like this have been done away with, thanks to the Autopilot update.
Whether this is enough to put Tesla owners' minds at ease, remains to be seen.
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