• Janelle Whiteside

The Future of Driving

Tesla is a car manufacturer known for making electric and clean vehicles founded in the early 2000s. The company specializes in making cars that are green friendly with a battery with an impressive amount of storage. Driverless cars are an idea mostly reserved for the big screen, Tesla is trying to design self-driving cars. Tesla is one of the few car companies striving to design a car capable of driving without any human action. Now there are several models with technology that can be called self-driving but in fact, still requires the full attention of the driver [3]. Even though calling a car self-driving can be misleading, Tesla Model S, X, and 3 are all stapled with this advertising. The price of these cars is over $70,000 and is expected to rise as new advances in technology continue [1]. What we might consider a self-driving car has not been developed yet but the current models are still quite spectacular.

Features

Autopilot is exactly what it sounds like, the driver does not have to provide constant control over the car, and Tesla has several models with this feature. In Tesla’s cars, the autopilot feature authorizes the car to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within a single lane. The car is equipped with safety features including side and front collision warning. It's designed to make driving more enjoyable and less trying. Other features include navigation, autosteer+, and smart summon though only through autopilot. Navigation does everything from lane changes to driving into highway interchanges with the goal of making the drive more efficient and fast. Autosteer+ permits driving through narrow roads and smart summon literally summons the car to your location with a tap of a button.

Tesla Vision

Each car is provided with eight cameras that allow for a 360 view up to 250 meters along with twelve ultrasonic sensors all of which allow the car to “see” anything in its path [1]. Tesla also claims that the car can see through rain, fog, and dust. To say the very least the car is souped up. This intake of information would be useless without a state of the art processing system to analyze the data. The sonar and radar processing software, called the Tesla Vision, grants the driver a view in every direction while inside the car [1].

Promises for the Future

According to the BBC, Ellon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, said that his company was “very close” to making a fully autonomous car at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference. Currently, Tesla’s “self-driving car” only has autopilot that still requires the driver to alert when on the road [2]. This version is described as a level two autopilot in contrast a true self-driving car would be a level five. While these are only promises for what the car will look like it's exciting to see what tomorrow will hold.


References

1. “Autopilot.” Tesla, Inc, 2020, www.tesla.com/autopilot.

2. “Elon Musk Says Full Self-Driving Tesla Tech 'Very Close'.” BBC News, BBC, 9 July 2020, www.bbc.com/news/technology-53349313?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Ftopics%2Fc90ymkd8lglt%2Fdriverless-cars.

3. “Tesla's 'Autopilot' Misleading, Germany Rules.” BBC News, BBC, 15 July 2020, www.bbc.com/news/technology-53418069?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Ftopics%2Fc90ymkd8lglt%2Fdriverless-cars.

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