Driverless car, the technology of future was brought to present by Tesla. This week, people will see thousands of Tesla self-steering cars on UK busy roads after Version 7.0 Autopilot updated for Tesla Model S has been officially approved by the EU Government.
Car owners have been able to download the new 7.0 software package since Sunday, which enables a wide range of autonomous driving capabilities on their Model S. Free Over-the-Air updates will be downloaded via the car’s built-in Wifi and installation will not take so long to be ready.
Meanwhile, customers who want to add Autopilot to their cars will have to pay from £2,100 to £2,500 to get the function installed. All safety features are delivered for free, including side collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, forward speed limit warning and collision warning.
Version 7.0 comes with a few changes. The user interface is designed to allow access to the updated features list. Owners are able to switch the Autopilot features on or off through a check box in the car’s settings menu. This update also features a more complex tyre pressure monitoring system, which in turn refreshes the dials behind the steering wheel.
It is not a secret as the firm has been working so hard to roll autonomous tech to the market. Ahead of the official update, Tesla CEO Elan Musk had already revealed the information and showed how Autopilot will work in full detail.
So how does it really work? The car has “active” cruise control just like many other cars to keep your car at a constant speed when the road is clear. It also uses a radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors to detect cars in the front and keep you at a safe distance by controlling both the accelerator and the brakes. So you do not need to use your feet anymore!
But the big new is related to auto steer, lane change and parallel park technology. A built-in camera looks for clear lane on either side, and project it on the screen in front of you. Autopilot’s Auto Lane Change function enables hands-free lane changes. Simply flick the indicator while the car is steering itself and it will use its 360-degree ultrasonic sensors to check if the adjacent lane is free, before swiftly moving into it. Then in suitable situations, you will no longer need hands to control the car!
While it’s not always on, it’s constantly monitoring 360-degrees around the car and scanning for white lines on the road. A simple pull of the cruise control stalk activates the set speed, while another two quick pulls enables the auto steer. A quick dab of the brakes will cancel everything and return control to the driver solely. It’s incredibly easy to use.
The system feels completely in control as you can see the wheel turning itself. Howerver, Tesla strongly advises customers only to activate Autopilot on the motorway.
This Tesla Model S seems be the cleverest car on the road at present. But it will not be the best for long as driverless car will become more popular in the future, especially its rival, the Audi A7.