What comes to your mind if you hear the word “autopilot”?
Let me guess. Did an airplane flying or landing on its own appear in your mind? Yes, mine too. The word autopilot has been describing self- driving aerial vehicles for more or less 70 years now and hence, they’ve become a signature for aircraft. But let’s update our info and discuss if the word or the concept can be applied to other vehicles as well.
The autopilot concept first inspired engineers and researchers to apply the idea of a ‘self- driving’ to UAVs and now it has amazingly descended onto the roads and into cars. The giant of automotive industry – Tesla has built two models in autopilot cars. They call them model X and model S. As Tesla proudly claims on their website, “These cars have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver”. The cars are equipped with several amazing features that automatically control the vehicle’s movement and hence, do not necessarily need a driver.
Though, some features and their updates are still undergoing approval procedure. Let’s take a look at them. Tesla’s latest cars have been equipped with:
Advanced Sensor Coverage
The cars are equipped with eight 360 degrees cameras that provide visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors and forward facing RADAR that complement this sensing system and provide detection of the objects around the car.
Processing Power Increased 40x
To make sense of all of this data, a new onboard computer with over 40 times the computing power to with vision, sonar and radar processing software. This computer processing help to make better driving decisions because it is capable of handling more data at a time than a human.
This feature makes all the logical decisions during the drive. It matches the car’s speed to traffic conditions, keeps within a lane or changes if required, exiting the freeway if your destination is near, self-park and can even be summoned from the parking lot.
On-ramp to Off-ramp
This amazing feature provides an ease during your journey. As you’ve entered your desired destination into the GPS and navigation system, it automatically decides the fastest yet most feasible route. This feature allows the car to enter or exit the freeway or even change them if transition is required
Fastest Route Selection
As discussed earlier, the car is equipped with GPS and smart navigation system them that helps you select and even suggest the most feasible route to the driver. If the control is manual, it shows and navigates the driver towards the destination.
Now that we know that the cars are capable of making their own smart decisions, how does it move through the traffic? The auto – steering capability helps the cars to make maneuvers even through the most complex routes and pathways, especially through parking lots.
We believe that Tesla has once again taken the market by surprise with these amazing cars with mesmerizing body and structure. Such innovation in cars is a big deal and it should be given the right amount of regard and credit. Let’s see when the other automotive companies come in competition or come up with more innovative ideas!