Tesla Pilot has collected a whopping 1.3 billion miles of data that will be used to carefully enhance self driving vehicles. Currently Tesla announced Autopilot 2.0 and is making a transition into its third Tesla model that will come equipped for full autonomy.
Elon Musk disclosed that it has accumulated 780 million miles on hardware equipped cars and 100 million with Autopilot active back in May 2016.
Tesla’s Director of Autopilot Programs, Sterling Anderson, said that ““We first install (Autopilot) in a logging fashion across 70,000 vehicles. We watch over 10’s of millions of miles with the new (Autopilot) features not turned on. We only turn it on when we know it is empirically safer.”
There are more than 100,000 vehicles with Autopilot and hundreds of thousands more are being produced.
Other companies are also testing their own self driving systems such as Uber with Otto. It doesn’t seem too far fetched to say that self driving cars may become fully functioning in the next 5 years.
Tesla said last Wednesday that all of its vehicles that are being produced will be equipped with hardware needed for full self-driving capability and as stated by Tesla at a “safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.”
Autopilot 2.0 is the second generation autonomous driving hardware that will offer full level 5 autonomy, according to CEO Elon Musk. It’s available in future Models S and X and every Model 3.
Autopilot 2.0 will equip the vehicles with 360 camera coverage up to 250 meters range for level 5 autonomy. It will have 8 cameras, 3 front facing, 12 ultrasonic sensors, a forward facing radar, and 40x more powerful on-board computers, using the Nvidia GPU Titan supercomputer.
Musk noted that at first the new hardware will not offer Autopilot 1.0 capabilities, though it will after a few software improvements over the coming months. By early next year, it should outperform Autopilot 1.0. Level 3 autonomy will be coming in a few months while levels 4 and ultimately level 5 will be coming in 2018.
Autopilot 2.0 will come at a price much like the Autopilot which costs $3,000, Tesla Vision will of course be more expensive at around $8,000. Some new capabilities that will come with are automatic emergency breaking, collision warning, lane holding, and active cruise control, and all of these will be enabled using the over-the-air updates.
Elon Musk tweeted this morning saying that he is “hoping to start the rollout of 8.0 on Wednesday if no last minute issues discovered.”
The biggest change in Autopilot is an increased reliance radar. “After careful consideration, we now believe [radar] can be used as a primary control sensor without requiring the camera to confirm visual image recognition,” wrote Musk in a blog post on Sunday. The sensor was first installed to Tesla vehicles in 2014 and this update may be because of the fatal car crash of a Tesla Model S in which the driver was killed while using the Autopilot service in May.
Also included in the update will be a “geocoded whitelist” of objects such as signs and other obstacles that result in the misidentification of objects and the vehicle making unnecessary braking or dangerous maneuvering. The fatal accident in May was caused when Autopilot did not recognize a truck that was turning towards the car and instead identified it as an overhead sign.
To those with Autopilot always drive safely. The update will be delivered over the air to eligible vehicles.