Tesla aduce autopilotul cu un pas mai aproape de perfectiune

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iata un subiect care ma foarte intereseaza de ceva vreme. masinile electrice si sistemele foarte inteligente de care acestea dispun. in 90% dintre accidente este voraba de eroarea umana si nu cea a automobilului, asadar, daca eliminam factorul uman, ne putem astepta la o siguranta mult mai mare in trafic.

The ability to drive a car when you want to, and hand over control to a computer when you don’t, just got a little closer to becoming a reality for Tesla Model S owners as the electric-car builder launched its much-hyped Autopilot feature today, via a wireless automatic software update.

Co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said Autopilot will allow the battery-powered sedan (at least those built in the past year with the proper sensors) to drive itself on the freeway and parallel-park automatically when the trip is over.

“We think of it as a public beta—we want people to be quite careful with it,” Musk said, later adding: “Eventually, we want it to automatically have your car put itself to bed in your garage.”

For now, Autopilot is the combination of an elegant lane-keeping system and adaptive cruise control. It allows the car to steer within a lane, change lanes with the simple tap of a turn signal and manage speed via Tesla’s already impressive Traffic Aware Cruise array Control (TACC) system. It does so by leveraging situational data compiled using the car’s current sensor array, which consists of a forward-facing camera mounted in the windshield mirror cluster, radar located in the front grille, and a dozen or so ultrasonic sensors sunk into the front and rear bumpers.

Currently, TACC gauges the distance between a Model S and the car it is following. If the following distance grows short, the system automatically slows the vehicle to compensate or stops it completely in an emergency. It also brings the vehicle back up to speed when traffic starts to move again.

Autopilot adds auto steering functionality to the mix. During a brief demonstration of the technology on Manhattan’s busy and often frenzied Westside Highway, Autopilot worked as advertised. After double-tapping the cruise control arm located just behind the steering wheel, the car instantly took over. The transition from driving to driven was seamless. After removing my hands from the steering wheel, the car handled steering, acceleration, and braking duties without hesitation. With minutes, I was comfortable in the hands of a computer, even in brutal downtown Manhattan traffic.

It had no trouble handling mild corners and kept a safe following distance behind the car in front of it. Adjusting the speed was easy: flip the cruise control arm up to go faster and down to slow down. It even circumnavigated a collision, something that I have not experienced with any other lane-keeping set-up from any other automaker.

Not all was perfect, though. The vehicle hugged the painted lane markers a little too close for comfort at times, and did tap out when the lines became blurred or pathway uncertain.

The real question is: Does it improve upon similar systems from Audi, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and several others. Tesla’s Autopilot is a brain of an innovative lane-keeping system, and while it is an elegant system, it is not a true autonomous autopilot as the name suggests.

What differentiates it from other systems? Autopilot is software based and can be upgraded. Unlike lane-keeping systems from other automakers, Tesla’s Autopilot can be continually updated as new technology and software are developed.

“The network of vehicles is going to be constantly learning,” Musk said. “Each driver is effectively an expert training in how the Autopilot should work.”

For now, Musk emphasized that Autopilot requires drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands and feet at the ready, and will for several years. But it does reduce the driver’s workload and, thus, the stress of navigating through bumper-to-bumper traffic

Unfortunately, Autopilot is not entirely free and not available on all previously model year Model S vehicles. If you purchased before October 2014, your Model S is not equipped with the electronic building blocks; i.e., the sensor package needed to feed the system information about its surroundings. And it cannot be retrofitted to include the technology. If you purchased your Model S after last October, you are all good.

Current Tesla owners don’t have to pay for the Autopilot functionality as it was included in the Convenience package that came with the car. However, if you purchase a Model S going forward with the new Tec Package, which includes the cost of future upgrades, there’s a fee of $2,500 to turn on the Autopilot—one that Tesla says will only get more capable.

sursa: yahoo.com

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