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Future of autopilot on current gen hardware

johnbro23

Member
Aug 28, 2015
45
3
United States
EM was asked what current gen hardware was capable of, he said imagine what an expert driver could do with current sensor suite using a remote control. He also thinks that full autonomy will be here in 3 years. This is pretty exciting when speculating about the roadmap for future software updates. Here are my guesses, what does everyone think??

Summon on private property - 7.1, guessing next few months
Recognize and respond to red lights, stop signs - 2016?
Allow the driver to get out while parallel parking - 2016?
Actually work on roads other than highways - 2017?
Condone taking hands off the wheel - ever?
 

AnOutsider

S532 # XS27
Apr 3, 2009
11,957
200
EM was asked what current gen hardware was capable of, he said imagine what an expert driver could do with current sensor suite using a remote control. He also thinks that full autonomy will be here in 3 years. This is pretty exciting when speculating about the roadmap for future software updates. Here are my guesses, what does everyone think??

Summon on private property - 7.1, guessing next few months
Recognize and respond to red lights, stop signs - 2016?
Allow the driver to get out while parallel parking - 2016?
Actually work on roads other than highways - 2017?
Condone taking hands off the wheel - ever?

Couldn't a driver get out while parallel parking now? I was under the impression that was 100% autonomous.

As for taking hands off the wheel, the Google cars don't even have a wheel, so we know cars CAN do it. The question is whether or not Tesla's suite of hardware can.
 

electracity

Active Member
Jun 8, 2015
4,028
2,531
60606
Remember that Musk said that none of the cars produced to date have enough hardware to do full autonomous driving. He says it will take more as well as redundant sensors and computers.
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,217
7,010
Delaware
Recognize and respond to red lights, stop signs - 2016?

Stopping at red lights and stop signs isn't hard - but knowing when it can go at stop signs is probably impossible on current hardware as the car currently has no way to see aft of 45 degrees from the nose and beyond 16 feet, so it can't tell if there are cars on the other sides of intersections or not with the current sensors, ever. Likewise, the typical shape of a traffic circle approach will prevent the car from knowing when to go.

In theory it could handle traffic lights provided the light ends up within the camera's field of view once stopped (won't be true of all lights with the current focal length,) but it'll be relying on faith for what other cars are doing, with no way to verify they are complying with the light.
 

BertL

Active Member
Aug 19, 2015
2,018
1,573
Carlsbad, CA
OP, I'll just say "Perhaps" to all of your timeline. It's an interesting thought.

I honestly don't believe the "no hands" capability will be here for quite some time, and when it does, it will end up requiring more sensors and/or hardware tech in our vehicles than currently available -- I'm thinking poor weather, limited visibility, etc being a whole set of obvious complexities -- but then, Tesla has to get their arms around the many challenges associated with dealing with stop lights, 4-way stops, pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles in California legally making their own lanes on the freeways, dogs and children running out into the street, twisty mountain roads with sometimes no barriers and lines, and the rest that requires some very intricate decision making logic. To make our cars operate hands-free, that logic will have to incorporate some amount of acceptable risk that each of us take millions of times as we are driving our vehicles. You hopefully know what I'm saying -- as an example, ever been at a 4-way stop with multiple cars arriving at the same time: no one goes, then multiple people decide they should, or someone never seems to ever move even after you and everyone else has? I was a programmer long ago, and it's that sort of logic that needs to not only follow the law, consider safety for idiots and situations out of the ordinary or no one considered, but also an ability for the vehicle itself to take acceptable risk to keep you and the grid moving. It's that last point I think will be even more difficult because when we talk risk that your vehicle assumes, is that really Tesla's decision, or somehow the driver's that needs to be accepted and imbedded in the logic so the vehicle is still acting on your behalf, and how will all that sort out with the legal ramifications and our society that loves to sue for everything and anything these days. I absolutely see why Tesla keeps deploying what they have with AutoPilot in the sequence they are. IMHO, it's the next set of things Tesla will deliver beyond V7.1 (fixes and tweaks, I bet) that will be even harder. I suspect an offspring of HAL will need to be driving our MS one day. ;)

An Adjunct FWIW: I just hope Tesla continues to do their due diligence before putting out code and new/refined capabilities associated with safety systems and AutoPilot. IMHO, they did a good job with V7.0, especially keeping the new AutoPilot capabilities off until discretely turned on by an owner. We'll always have crazy people that turn things on or use things and capabilities without reading -- be that new technologies or things just new to that individual -- but such is the case with vehicles or any devices -- even lawn mowers and power tools -- people get their hands on. As sad as it is, companies can only protect people from themselves so far while they try to deliver new capabilities into the market. It's probably wishful thinking, but I just hope EM is learning hard lessons to get his overly-agressive public target availability announcements under control -- they set expectations and apply perhaps undo pressure to then deliver when something may not really be ready, as well as continue to make Tesla get a black eye when dates and perceived capabilities right-or-wrong are not met. He can set all the internal targets he wants -- that's his job, but hopefully nothing ever -- especially safety and AutoPilot capabilities -- ever come out even in so-called Beta Form before they are truly ready...​
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,386
3,356
Phoenix, AZ
The 2017 Mercedes E-Class is launching in January and it will have 23 sensors, including a stereoscopic (dual) forward-facing camera to Tesla's single mono camera, four radar units to Tesla's single unit, four cameras (front, rear, and one in each door mirror) to Tesla's two cameras (one of which has no involvement in safety functions). Mercedes seems far ahead of Tesla in terms of sensors and hardware capabilities.

Some here have speculated that there will be no updates to Tesla's sensor suite for a couple of years pending the launch of Mobileye's next-generation system, yet Mercedes seems to be using a much more robust system than Tesla is using and they don't have to wait for anyone. I'm not sure who is supplying Mercedes with its systems, but I would expect Tesla to update the sensor suite soon. Months ago we saw Model S mules with multiple cameras in the windshield and cameras in the side view mirrors. The car's hardware is already over a year old and likely due for an update.
 
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BertL

Active Member
Aug 19, 2015
2,018
1,573
Carlsbad, CA
The 2017 Mercedes E-Class is launching in January and it will have 23 sensors, including a stereoscopic (dual) forward-facing camera to Tesla's single mono camera, four radar units to Tesla's single unit, four cameras (front, rear, and one in each door mirror) to Tesla's two cameras (one of which has no involvement in safety functions). Mercedes seems far ahead of Tesla in terms of sensors and hardware capabilities.

Some here have speculated that there will be no updates to Tesla's sensor suite for a couple of years pending the launch of Mobileye's next-generation system, yet Mercedes seems to be using a much more robust system than Tesla is using and they don't have to wait for anyone. I'm not sure who is supplying Mercedes with its systems, but I would expect Tesla to update the sensor suite soon. Months ago we saw Model S mules with multiple cameras in the windshield and cameras in the side view mirrors. The car's hardware is already over a year old and likely due for an update.

To your point, I've always considered MBZ a leader when it comes to safety systems, etc. Just look at dates of their patents and such, e.g. first with ABS way back in the day. My former MBZ (that I sold to buy my MS) had optional Distronic Plus, and it's broader capabilities were lightyears ahead of what my Lexus had with PCS for example -- MBZ had full-stop braking, etc when under radar cruise control -- Lexus did not, they do supposedly on 2016 models. I find it very interesting that my MS has some off-the-shelf hardware components from MBZ (stalks, window switches, etc), and given the relationship Tesla had (or has) with MBZ it's made me wonder to what degree Tesla has access to other non-physical assets MBZ has available that may not have been publicly revealed. I find similarities in a number of AutoPilot capabilities, especially the first generation implementations that Tesla provided, to what I had with my 2014 SLK or read about being available on other MBZ models... It would make a lot of sense to me if Tesla is using MBZ to maybe jump start some of this safety(/Autopilot) tech they are developing and deploying, then moving in their own direction perhaps. Anyway, it's interesting to me...
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,386
3,356
Phoenix, AZ
To your point, I've always considered MBZ a leader when it comes to safety systems, etc. Just look at dates of their patents and such, e.g. first with ABS way back in the day. My former MBZ (that I sold to buy my MS) had optional Distronic Plus, and it's broader capabilities were lightyears ahead of what my Lexus had with PCS for example -- MBZ had full-stop braking, etc when under radar cruise control -- Lexus did not, they do supposedly on 2016 models. I find it very interesting that my MS has some off-the-shelf hardware components from MBZ (stalks, window switches, etc), and given the relationship Tesla had (or has) with MBZ it's made me wonder to what degree Tesla has access to other non-physical assets MBZ has available that may not have been publicly revealed. I find similarities in a number of AutoPilot capabilities, especially the first generation implementations that Tesla provided, to what I had with my 2014 SLK or read about being available on other MBZ models... It would make a lot of sense to me if Tesla is using MBZ to maybe jump start some of this safety(/Autopilot) tech they are developing and deploying, then moving in their own direction perhaps. Anyway, it's interesting to me...

I'm certainly excited to see what AP hardware improvements Tesla rolls into the platform in the next year. I'd be shocked if we didn't see a major sensor update considering what Mercedes is moving to. Elon said they use Mercedes as a benchmark for their system. I doubt Tesla can accomplish with 14 sensors what Mercedes is going to be doing with 23. I think it's only a matter of time before Tesla updates its vehicles to the newer generation sensor suite used by Mercedes.
 

anxman

Member
Dec 21, 2014
362
59
san francisco, ca
The 2017 Mercedes E-Class is launching in January and it will have 23 sensors, including a stereoscopic (dual) forward-facing camera to Tesla's single mono camera, four radar units to Tesla's single unit, four cameras (front, rear, and one in each door mirror) to Tesla's two cameras (one of which has no involvement in safety functions). Mercedes seems far ahead of Tesla in terms of sensors and hardware capabilities.

Some here have speculated that there will be no updates to Tesla's sensor suite for a couple of years pending the launch of Mobileye's next-generation system, yet Mercedes seems to be using a much more robust system than Tesla is using and they don't have to wait for anyone. I'm not sure who is supplying Mercedes with its systems, but I would expect Tesla to update the sensor suite soon. Months ago we saw Model S mules with multiple cameras in the windshield and cameras in the side view mirrors. The car's hardware is already over a year old and likely due for an update.

I think we'll see Tesla rev the AP hardware for the 2017 models (alongside Model III). I believe Tesla will match the sensor suite that Mercedes has but then seek to one-up through software.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,386
3,356
Phoenix, AZ
I think we'll see Tesla rev the AP hardware for the 2017 models (alongside Model III). I believe Tesla will match the sensor suite that Mercedes has but then seek to one-up through software.

I think 2017 will be all about Model 3, Tesla wouldn't want to be distracted with updating Model S at the same time. My bet is we will see a slightly redesigned Model S next year, in 2016, after the X has started shipping in volume. Also, Tesla will want to use Model S owners as beta testers, as it usually does, in order to clear the path for the technology to be used in Model 3. Not only that, but Tesla will want another demand lever in 2016 to stimulate Model S sales.
 

BerTX

Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,505
3,562
Texas/Washington
Please forgive my ignorance -- why would I want to get out of the car before it parallel parks? I don't get it. You mean have my $100K car sitting in the middle of the road blocking traffic. I get out and have to walk across traffic to get to the sidewalk? Am I missing something?
 

Johann Koeber

Active Member
May 1, 2012
1,184
3,415
Hersbruck, Germany
timeframe

Also let us not forget:

having the technology in place is one thing

having it being allowed by the government totally different.

Remember we are not yet allowed to replace mirrors by cameras.

If tech is developed and working in 6-7 years I would not be surprised if it took another 6-7 years to make it legal.
 

johnbro23

Member
Aug 28, 2015
45
3
United States
I think we'll see Tesla rev the AP hardware for the 2017 models (alongside Model III). I believe Tesla will match the sensor suite that Mercedes has but then seek to one-up through software.
Tesla is using the MobileEye hardware suite, MBZ is one of the few OEMs that is developing everything in house and not using MobileEye. So Tesla is really tied to MobileEye's development path which the company has laid all of this out. Their next gen system includes 6 sensors (3 front, 2 sides and 1 rear) and is being delivered to OEMs late '15, early '16. So Tesla should be pushing out new AP hardware to MS sometime in '16. MobileEye has promised that this sensor suite will be capable of "semi-autonomous" driving which means that the car can handle all tasks but requires the driver in some situations and only after a "comfortable transition period". So this is when we'll be able to read a book / emails on the way to work and take over if there's bad weather or crazy construction. I was afraid that Tesla would start putting all their R&D effort into developing for the next gen, but it's good to hear from EM's comments that they'll still be able to get a fair amount of improvement out of current gen.
 

anxman

Member
Dec 21, 2014
362
59
san francisco, ca
When Elon Musk says that there will be fully autonomous in 3 years, what he's saying is that Tesla will have one working in a lab. It won't be production ready in the hands of consumers until at least 3 years after that (at the earliest).
 

ArtInCT

Always Learning
Sep 2, 2014
1,713
433
Southern Connecticut
Many to most of the major automobile manufacturers (Tesla included) are using Mobileye (MBLY) as the source and for their autopilot suite of software and tools (which then the manufacturer could customize). I would follow announcements from Mobileye to "see" what their future holds for the technology and capabilities. I am sure that Tesla and Mobileye are having some great change order conversations with the tweaks and improvements that the first week of use has deemed necessary or prudent.

BTW, I recently saw a video that had a Mercedes Benz, featuring some Autopilot software and hardware beta implementation.... shazam... the GUI with the small forward facing car and the sensor circles... as is now on V7's central driver pod... was depicted on the driver's UI which was a bolted on PAD.... of course the graphic of the car was not a model S but a MB. The manufacturers who are integrating Mobileye appear to be using the same software and UI tool kit as their basic starting point. But I thought that MBZ was building their own? Hmm. Perhaps this video is just using a MBZ as a platform.

Mercedess autonomous driving on highway - YouTube

Regarding the so called fine tuning of the Tesla implementation of the Autopilot Lane Keeping... I wonder if there is a sensor "tuning" or calibration needed for some number of cars that are either left or right lane biased. Given a bell curve of all the AP equipped Model S cars, I suspect that some number are going to fall at the edge of "normal". Has anyone contacted TM to discuss this? I think that the typical Service Center personnel may not be in the know on the answer to this question so early on.

Lastly, this is my inner car guy speaking.... I wonder if Lane Keeping can "Sense" that your Model S needs wheel alignment? I am sure a mis-aligned Model S has much more fiddly sensor input and steering corrections going on. Be prepared for "YOUR MODEL S NEEDS WHEEL ALIGNMENT" warnings.... :tongue:
 
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