Tesla claims fully autonomous cars are just 24-36 months away

Posted on Monday, January 11 2016 @ 16:23 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
A couple of days ago Tesla rolled out a Summon feature for its cars. At present, the feature only works when you're within 33 feet of the car but co-founder Elon Musk says this is just the beginning. Musk foresees that a mere 24-36 months from now, the company's cars will be able to travel coast-to-coast with no driver. You will reportedly be able to summon your car to you from your phone, and the car will automatically charge itself along the journey

Despite criticism about Tesla's autopilot functionality, Musk claims autopilot technology is rapidly evolving. He believes it's already better than human driving, or will be within the coming months thanks to machine learning. Musk did mention though that eliminating the human completely is still not possible, as the cars need more hardware and software, more cameras, more radars, redundant electronics, and redundant power buses.

Jalopnik has a nice overview about the recent Tesla Model S update, besides the Summon featur it also included some features to enhance the safety of the autopilot feature:
As for auto-steer in the newly updated and not completely autonomous Model S, Tesla tweaked the feature to restrict speeds in residential areas or ones that lack a center dividing line.

Well, when Tesla says “restrict,” it’s not much of a restriction at all. In those cases, the car will limit its speed to just five miles over the actual speed limit in Autopilot. Of course, if you want to be a total hooligan there’s nothing stopping you from just driving it yourself like a nut.

When roads have faded dividing lines, an improvement on the Model S’ auto-steer will also help it to stay in its designated lane.

Other safety updates to the Autopilot system include a sytem that reduces the car speed as it approaches a bend in the road. That feature complements the aforementioned restriction that governs overall speed in specific, more dangerous situations.

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