Thursday, October 20, 2016

When is an autopilot not an autopilot?

Behind the smokescreen of its new onboard hardware announcement, Tesla is quietly killing off its controversial Autopilot feature in its new cars. 
The money shot is buried in this announcement emitted today titled All Tesla Cars Being Produced Now Have Full Self-Driving Hardware
The blog post is a masterpiece of misdirection. It leads with boasts that, from now on, all Model S and Model X (and at some point in the future Model 3) vehicles rolling off the production lines will have eight cameras, 12 ultrasound detectors, a front-facing radar, and a more powerful computer. This tech is all ready to run self-driving software and turn Teslas into autonomous rides, we're told. 
But the statement then admits this:
Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience.
While this is occurring, Teslas with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency breaking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control.
It goes on add: "As these features are robustly validated we will enable them over-the-air."
Translation: It won't be an autopilot until we think we won't get sued or jailed.  OK, then.


Ted said...

....... and some point in the near future we can expect a notice that " recomends" that owners of the cars with 1st gen sensors please come in and have your car "upgraded" to the hardware . (Which means those cars will lose features)

Russ Nixon said...

Did they really misspell "braking" as "breaking"? Was it a transcription error, stupidity on the part of the copy writer or a Freudian slip? The world wonders...