I have always wanted to drive cars and enjoy them thoroughly, even as a child I had a myriad of RC cars which would sadly suffer at my naïve skills and not live long enough. As I grew older, the more I wondered about self-driving cars and if they could have an autopilot feature like that on an aircraft. Today, we live in a time where adaptive cruise control is the basic feature in almost all cars, which translates to borderline autopilot. Today, Elon Musk and Tesla have taken autopilot experience to another level. Of course, it does not mean that the car is fully autonomous, it still requires human supervision.
Tesla has kept Autopilot as an optional package that can be purchased before or after delivery. Currently, the company is offering two packages, Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability. Currently, the cars come equipped with a powerful onboard computer that gets inputs from 8 external cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and radar that aids in the self-driving capability. The Autopilot package gets you a cruise control that is aware of the traffic around you and matches the speed of your car with the other cars on the road. In addition to this, you also get the Autosteer function that keeps the car in a specific lane and works in tandem with the Traffic-Aware Cruise Control.
But, the Full Self-Driving Capability package is where the party starts. Today, this is as close as cars will come to self-driving as seen in the movie I, Robot. This package enables you to parallel or perpendicular park your car with just a button, you can just use your phone or key to get your car out if it has been sandwiched between two monster trucks and there’s no way in, also, the Smart Summon function also navigates the car out of tricky parking spaces and gets the car to you without a scratch, that is if someone doesn’t freak out after seeing a driverless car and smashes into it. Wait, the features don’t end here, Navigate on Autopilot is also a beta feature that makes it one step closer to a fully autonomous drive. This feature maneuvers' the car on the highway, changes lanes and takes the required exit on the freeway as per the navigation inputs in the infotainment system.
With OTA updates, you can only expect that Tesla and its autonomous driving will improve as time goes by. And only Elon Musk could have achieved something like this so soon in the industry. Tesla have been whacky since Day 1 and the SEXY model line-up have set some huge milestones for other manufacturers that are getting into the EV segment. Soon, Autosteer within the city streets will be possible and just imagine how easy it would be to drive in traffic. Can’t wait to not drive my car anymore.