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Science & Technology

Tesla's cars will soon all drive themselves

By T.K. Randall
October 20, 2016 · Comment icon 14 comments

Would you trust your car to drive you to your destination ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Steve Jurvetson
Elon Musk has revealed that all Tesla's upcoming vehicles will be capable of driving autonomously.
In a surprise announcement during a press conference last night, the billionaire revealed that all new Tesla vehicles will be equipped with the ability to drive entirely without human intervention.

The ambitious upgrade, which will be made possible thanks to the implementation of a new suite of cameras and sensors, means that the cars will offer 'level 5 autonomy' - the highest possible - thus enabling someone to be driven to their destination without needing to control the vehicle at all.

Tesla's existing cars, by contrast, only offer a rudimentary form of autonomous driving which still requires that the driver be ready to take over the controls at a moment's notice.
The company is hoping to have its new cars ready by the end of the next year and will demonstrate the technology by using one of the vehicles to carry a passenger on a cross-country road trip.

Not everyone however is confident that Tesla's self-driving technology is going to be ready so soon, especially given the practically limitless obstacles and situations that drivers face on the roads.

It remains unclear how the cars will deal with problems such as cyclists swerving in front of them, road works with manual traffic signals or children unexpectedly running out on to the road.

If the technology goes live too soon and an accident occurs it could set the company back years.

Source: | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by White Unicorn 8 years ago
If the car has a manual override in place for quick offbeat  obstacles I would believe the human driver would be at fault unless they proved the auto drive malfunctioned to cause accident.  It's not all that much different then auto pilot for jets. Maybe the car companies could even use black boxes to help determine car malfunction or driver error. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by freetoroam 8 years ago
Yes, I think you are right...the article states that    Hmmm, as long as the driver is concentrating on what it going on on the road and not what is going on on facebook.  The more cars I see, the more careless drivers I am seeing. It is against the law to drive and be on your phone and yet I see it everyday. A car which can drive its self would soon be used in the all wrong ways by those who are a danger on our roads already.   One good thing about these cars, they would be good as a get away car in a bank robbery, no need to split the money with the driver.
Comment icon #7 Posted by MissJatti 8 years ago
I believe these cars will be big trouble.  
Comment icon #8 Posted by Chaldon 8 years ago
Uh-huh. I imagine a driverless car in Russia, how drives around numerous holes in the tarmac, shying to the roadside to pass on some crazy Lexus driver, etc. But even in the US, I don't know how they suppose it to drive when it snows with wind at night, when even a human being barely sees anything. I suppose it simply gets stuck in the middle of the road with a red light blinking: "Can't drive".
Comment icon #9 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
Well the cars may be ready by the end of next year, but if the batteries aren't due to the lithium shortage caused by China companies buying and closing lithium carbonate mines in Australia to drive the price up.  The lithium carbonate is then processed into the other chemicals, lithium hydroxide, lithium acetate and of course lithium metal
Comment icon #10 Posted by Parsec 8 years ago
They would be terrible fellas, driving within the speed limit,  no red lights, no u-turns.  You wouldn't split because you'd be catched after seconds!    Anyway, I agree that as an assistant system it's fantastic, but the main driver needs always to be the human one.    I'd like to see  how a Tesla would perform in Rome's or Neaples' traffic,  I suspect it would rather self destruct within seconds!
Comment icon #11 Posted by freetoroam 8 years ago
Lol. Could be messy.  
Comment icon #12 Posted by danielost 8 years ago
or sleeping.  when i am a passenger i tend to go to sleep.
Comment icon #13 Posted by tmcom 8 years ago
Spoke to a Tesla car sales rep, in a shopping center, recently, and in Au, we will be getting Tesla cars that drive themselves in a limited way, but still need a driver at the wheel. But the cars are still cool, start one up, or drive it, about, silence.   But l would keep Harry Potter movies away from it!
Comment icon #14 Posted by Sakari 7 years ago
Just interviewed for a Supervisor job with Tesla's Gigafactory....Hope I get it. Would be back with my family in Sparks, Nevada.....7 years after having to move after losing all in recession. Has nothing to do with topic, but hey...

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