Driverless Tesla – Blazing a new Trail in Electric Cars
With the continued success of the Tesla Model S as an electric car, the carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk is now again on the marketing trail, tweeting incessantly of the new feature that this groundbreaking vehicle would be having, according to Musk, within the next few months.
The Model S’s Current Features
The current Model S feature called Autopilot allows the vehicle to read speed signs and make lane changes. Now, with software upgrades being done on the current platform, the feature would allow the Model S to drive itself, able to maneuver on the highway from on-ramp to off ramp. While originally the said driverless feature is still on the drawing board, the company is pushing the full automatic capacity be made available shortly.
Other Tech Companies are Racing to be First
While this idea is not novel, the race to make a truly driverless vehicle has suddenly ramped up. Google, through its Delphi program, has been designing driverless vehicles. In its latest announcement, a tricked out Audi SQ5 with the Delphi program would seek to make the first ever autonomous vehicle cross country road trip in the next few weeks.
Not only are tech companies working with car makers to manufacture the first driverless vehicle, even traditional car brands are taking up the challenge. Mercedes-Benz, the German maker, has unveiled the F015 concept car. Aside from the space age design, several writers were invited to ride the vehicle in a controlled area. This may just be a concept car, but the reality of self driving vehicles has jumped from the pages of science fiction into real life roads.
The Man Behind Tesla’s Success
Tesla CEO Musk though is hell-bent on making the first commercially available driverless car. In a conference call, Musk believes that one day actual driving may be outlawed for safety concerns. He added, on the software updates for the Model S Autopilot program, “It is technically capable of going from parking lot to parking lot. But we won’t be enabling that for users with this hardware suite, because we don’t think it’s likely to be safe in suburban neighborhoods.”
One of the features would be allowing the Model S to be summoned through a smartphone or have the vehicle park itself, dispensing with valet parkers.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons contributor Automobile-Propre.com
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