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Missing HW for future autopilot SW

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by NielsChr, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. NielsChr

    NielsChr Member

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    Now that Autopilot have been announced, and as far as I have understood the feature is not yet enabled. Only the HW is present and OTA updates will eventually enable it.

    I wonder if all needed HW are present.

    If I should point out something I believe missing, then it would be a camera or radar witch looks back. How will the autopilot else verify that a requested lane change is actual safe to do....ultrasonic sensors cannot detect a fast moving car comming from behind - it could be 50 meters away and running 50 mph faster than your Tesla, I believe it would not, in all cases, be safe to pull out without the car verifying the traffic coming from back.

    You could argue that it is the driver’s responsibility to verify that, before requesting a lane change - but isn’t that going a step back. Autopilot should correct human errors and thereby awoid accidents.
     
  2. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I thought about that possibility myself. I think the range on the Ultrasonic sensors is only 13-16 ft. It's either the driver's responsibility, or perhaps they're going to somehow do processing on the backup camera imagery?
     
  3. donv

    donv Member

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    What's wrong with the rear camera it already has?
     
  4. Arb1ter

    Arb1ter Member

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    If there's another car behind you, it may not be able to see well in another lane.

    Side-mounted cameras, like those shown with the Model X, would seem to be ideal for this purpose.
     
  5. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    I think legally and practically, you are still required to check your mirrors. This is assisted driving, not autonomous driving. Trust but verify.
     
  6. donv

    donv Member

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    It's not perfect, but take a look using it on the freeway sometime. If another car is so close that they're blocking it's entire field of view, well, something is wrong on someone's part.

     
  7. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    The current sensors really just cover the "blind spots". This is not autonomous driving. The driver will still need to check to see if it's safe to change lanes before tapping the turn signal.
     
  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    You wouldn't just need rear cameras, you would need better side sensors too, in order to prevent you moving into a spot that someone 2 lanes over wants. Autopilot will stay in lane until you tell it to change lanes, but make lane changes easier. Automatic lane changes would be part of autonomy. Autopilot will, I'd expect, resist overtaking if there's someone in your blind spot.
     
  9. Arb1ter

    Arb1ter Member

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    Side mirror regulations in most states mandate being able to see 200 feet behind. While the rear-view camera might be good enough under most circumstances, view of cars in other lanes would often be partially or completely obscured at longer distances, depending on following distance and lane width.
     
  10. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I thought the same thing. IMO the camera/radar looking back would be also useful in case you were going backwards with your Model S. IMO In Tesla they think that they can easily retrofit the camera/radar missing in case they would be needed. (Not the whole detection system of course)
     
  11. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    They wont retrofit that, the same argument they always make about retrofits will exist (wiring harness not present) and if they did offer the retrofit it will be very expensive.
     
  12. Arb1ter

    Arb1ter Member

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    I think that cameras are more likely than radar because, if it becomes legal, replacing side mirrors with cameras would add on the order of 5 miles of range at highway speeds by reducing drag.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I disagree in the case of side cameras. Tesla has wanted to use side cameras for a long time, and there is already wiring going to the side mirrors for folding (how expensive is still a question, though).

    Not retrofitting Autopilot does make technical sense. In addition to the sensors, there was almost definitely a computing power upgrade. Add in a new, quicker-reacting brake system, and an older design could be very difficult to modify appropriately.
     
  13. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    Good idea! Actually Tesla could work out the matter of the camera/radar looking back by replacing the side mirrors with cameras. :cool:

    This way we would have also reduce drag.
     
  14. Zeani

    Zeani Member

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    This is one reason I'm not too upset about having picked up my model s just before they added the new autopilot hardware. The sensors they've announced are great, but by no means are the end all be all of the sensors that can be used for autonomous driving. Just consider the sensors on Google's self driving cars (Lidar, rear Radar, better side sensing).

    I'm hopeful there will be continuous further hardware improvements and fixes so that if/when I get another Tesla vehicle it'll be even better than what's available now.
     
  15. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    Yes there is wiring for folding mirrors but there is not the wiring needed for cameras. It will need to have a new cable run and if history is a guide Tesla will price a retrofit very high if they offer it at all.
     
  16. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    The newest vehicles in Googles fleet appear to have two rear-mounted sensors mounted on the quarter panels pointed at an angle back down the road to see into the adjacent lanes, probably to handle this exact case. I noticed those additional sensors cropping up a month or two ago, and they weren't present on the Google Self-Driving Car I scored a ride in this summer.

    It does seem like a valid concern. I suppose they could be using the rear camera, but it seems like visual identification of a vehicle in a camera image will be much less reliable than a dedicated sensor of some type (radar?).
     
  17. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Mercedes S Class uses stereo cameras behind the windshield. Model S has a single camera. So a sensor upgrade is definitely coming from Tesla in the future. They tend to mimic what Mercedes does, and even use their parts. We will probably also see an improved air suspension in the next year as well. I would not want to be buying right now, too much in flux and lots more coming down the pipe it seems.
     
  18. dpodoll

    dpodoll Member

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    It's all a plot for us to trade up when the envy becomes unbearable. Silly me thought I would drive this one for 10 years...no way!
     
  19. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    I think the sensors are plenty sufficient to be used as the driver assistance functionality that Autopilot represents. Obviously they'll need more for fully driver less driving.

    But quite frankly any discussion of a fully driver less Model S is not that logical. Just as a regular car being converted to electric provides for a sub-optimal design, a driverless car being made with an existing human operator design is sub-optimal. You'd want to support the control interfaces to be removed to allow more freedom to do other things and possibly seating arrangements that support things like entertainment or interaction between the passengers. So I'd expect seating to adjust between facing entertainment screens or facing other passengers.

    I'm sure there will be cars with normal controls that can drive themselves. But I think the consumer will end up preferring cars that are human operated and cars that are self driving as separate categories. The current Model S design is based around human operation.
     
  20. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Tesla has promised me autopilot on my P85D. My order confirmation even specifies "Tech Package with Autopilot." If they're missing some hardware that makes this possible, they'll be adding that, free of charge, or I'll have some problems with them...
     

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