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Driverless MS - with current hardware?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Bennny, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Bennny

    Bennny Member

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    In the future, when full driverless cars are the norm, will the current Model S hardware (with firmware updates) be capable of such?

    If it already can do so (on private property), I can't see why it wouldn't.
     
  2. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    Not likely. Autopilot is about assisting the driver, not driving the car without a driver. While it seems that Tesla wants to provide some degree of driver less parking. I would be very surprised if the cars with the existing hardware ever get beyond that.

    The current hardware is not sufficient for entirely driver less operation. It's probably sufficient for low speed maneuvering in parking lots, which is what Tesla has talked about on private property. But I can't see it as sufficient for high speed (e.g. highway) driving. It's certainly not sufficient for all manner of conditions. As many people have pointed out the car does not have rear radar, meaning changing lanes at high speeds is likely not possible (it can do this with a driver who's looking for fast moving cars). The line following is based on a camera that can be obstructed by snow and ice (which a driver could take over if this occurred and pull over and fix it). That's ignoring that the technology for driver less cars is very limited now. As far as I know Google is the furthest and their solution requires expensive sensors and highly detailed maps of the areas the car can drive in. Nor can Google's car drive in a variety of weather conditions.

    For what it's worth none of the Autopilot cars have any driver less functionality. Nor has Tesla hasn't demonstrated the driver less parking functionality. So Elon's statement about driver less operation on private property is an entirely forward looking statement. He even pointed out as much by saying that he though his engineers would be hearing these ideas for the first time when he mentioned this back in October.

    All that said I'm sitting here waiting on my 85D rather than driving the S85 because of the Autopilot hardware. It's going to give be capable of doing a lot until such a time as we get to driver less cars.
     
  3. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Unless I'm mistaken, the only thing Musk was referring to that his engineers would be hearing about for the first time was the automatic, robotic charging. (I may not be calling this the right thing, as I haven't gone back to watch the video again, but I'm referring to the concept that would allow something to plug the car in to a charging source without human intervention.)
     
  4. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Not a chance. We still have a long way to go, and 100% guaranteed current hardware won't get us anywhere close.

    It would need many more sensors and more computing power.
     
  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    I'll agree with others.

    The Model S doesn't have 360° cameras so it cannot see everything that's necessary to be driverless.
    EloncMusk has also referred to the need for redundancy in driverless systems.
    There's also the issue of weather, construction zones and other complications.

    The Model S does have 360° sonar, which will allow it to move safely at low speeds on private property, like parking lots.
     
  6. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    That was my impression too. The "metal gear solid" type charging cable. I think the media missed that this was a gameing reference and proceded to refer to it as a solid metal charging cable
     
  7. evme

    evme Member

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    With current hardware, it is impossible to do full auto driving. You can automate a lot of stuff, but not full. Self driven cars need a piece of hardware called a LIDAR. LIDAR is extremely expensive, like buying a 2nd Tesla.

    But there are attempts to bringing the cost of a LIDAR down:

    This Palm-Sized Laser Could Make Self-Driving Cars Way Cheaper | WIRED
     
  8. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I'm not one to second-guess Elon, but in this case I think his 7 year timeframe is too short. I give it about a 0.5% chance that there will be private, free-reign driverless cars out there for sale in 7 years--and even that is being optimistic.
     
  9. patn

    patn Member

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    One of the examples that Elon gave was summoning the car to come get you (at least "on private property"). So it sounds like they expect the car to be fully autonomous at least in the context of a parking lot. Going the next step and having the car navigate cities and highways by itself seems like it will require a lot of legal framework and monitoring / mapping that will probably take long enough that the current hardware will be moot by then.
     
  10. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    The pending blizzard in the northeast is another example where driver assist is essential. With many years of driving in snowstorms "creative" driving is sometimes the only way you get to your destination. Trying to program "creative" driving will take a long time.
     
  11. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    By the time driverless cars are available for regular purchase, I suspect most Model S's on the road will be at or past end of life. Just way too much to deal with, technologically and politically.
     

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