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What are the limits of the current Autopilot hardware?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ratsbew, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

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    What are the limits of the current Autopilot hardware? Do you think it would be possible to expand it to include automatic lane changing for passing and the ability to follow the navigation system (on-ramp/off-ramp only, not surface streets).
     
  2. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    If it can be made to manage the first, it can certainly be made to manage the second.

    I'm not certain if it can eventually manage the first or not. One of the bigger handicaps of the current system is the lack of rear looking radar. Beyond the 16 feet of ultrasound reach, the only thing it has is the backup camera - a very wide angle lens.

    The only way the car would have to detect someone closing rapidly on it in the lane it wants to move into is by analyzing the backup camera image - and I'm not sure if there's enough resolution to make that practical given the wide angle view. We certainly haven't seen any evidence that Tesla is doing that to date.

    The other big limitation for Autopilot is that the car can't see more than 16 feet to the sides - so it has no way of determining if it is safe to proceed at a four way stop sign, for example.

    I also suspect that many traffic lights are outside of the cone of the forward camera so it wouldn't know when they changed.
    You could certainly get a version of software that doesn't run yellow/red lights and stop signs - that automatically stops in the right place and switches to "hold" until you tell the car it is okay to proceed (by pressing the accelerator.)
    Walter
     
  3. Jool

    Jool Member

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    I don't think lane changing will get much better due to the lack of a dedicated rear camera and rear radar. Without those, the car would have a very difficult time detecting vehicles coming up in other lanes.
     
  4. tom66

    tom66 Member

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    The autopilot has no access to the rear facing camera.
     
  5. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Is that a hardware limitation of the current design, or simply a software implementation?

    Do we know how the Autopilot passes sensor data among the various modules and where the decisions are made?

    (I know the camera, radar, and ultrasound are all used to make some of the decisions, and some decisions with steering appear to use information from all three, so there's clearly some sensor fusion going on...)
    Walter
     
  6. tom66

    tom66 Member

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    The AP is implemented in a dedicated fault tolerant module, and it connects with the radar, iBoost, ultrasonic sensors and front camera (after passing through Mobileye processor)

    The rear camera simply passes thru to the touchscreen, and in fact goes directly to an onboard FPGA which directly "blits" the image onto the LCD, so the main processor has absolutely no access to the camera - there would not be any way to export data from it, even if the Nvidia Tegra3 somehow had the grunt to do that.
     
    • Informative x 2
  7. pdq

    pdq Member

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    I'm not sure I understand the question. My 2015 does a great job with auto lane change when in autopilot. Very reliable -- I use it often.
     
  8. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    My understanding of the original post is that the OP was asking if Autopilot could reach the point where it could safely and autonomously initiate lane changes without the driver first checking to see that it was safe and telling the car to change lanes.

    Tom66's answer appears to make that quite unlikely with the current hardware, since the car won't have any method of seeing behind beyond 16 feet.
    Walter
     
  9. DarrinR

    DarrinR Member

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    According to the Google engineers who are considered the top in the field on autonomous cars, full autonomy depends can currently only be accomplished with LIDAR...
     
  10. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Baby steps. The only thing the car needs for what the OP asked for that it doesn't have already is a way to identify cars closing on it from astern - which it is sounding like may be beyond the current hardware, but certainly won't need LIDAR.

    Navigating busy city streets with traffic and pedestrians from the sides is a different story...
    Walter
     
  11. maddog1762

    maddog1762 Member

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    Nags every two minutes, holy cow! It was better before the update.
     
  12. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Mine doesn't nag that frequently, though I do notice the nags seem to be more frequent if my speed is over 70 mph - though I haven't timed it. Yours is nagging every two minutes all the time?
     
  13. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Mine rarely nags. I definitely does if the road ahead looks a bit confusing. But rarely otherwise. I drove at night for about 45 minutes/30 miles and only got one nag. There was pretty much nobody on the road. I don't think I am doing anything special or driving on super simple roads. As a matter of fact, most of my AP use is on non-divided roads and many of them being local roads in my semi-rural community.
     
  14. GasKilla

    GasKilla No Gas Know Peace

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    I'd be surprised if an update is release that has more features than the current autopilot. Besides refinements the current system will need additional hardware to enable any more advanced features.

    That said autopilot is pretty amazing and the folks that don't have it (not just Tesla owners) have no idea what they are missing. It is an extremely stress reducing feature.
     
  15. proven

    proven Member

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    I highly recommend watching the MobileEye CEO at this years CES. It's long but fascinating information about autonomous driving, including a comparison to Google's approach.
     
    • Informative x 1
  16. davidc18

    davidc18 Member

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    Autopilot was great until it went into Nanny/Lawyer mode. Between the nagging every 2-4 minutes and the car slowing down after incorrectly reading speed limit signs while in the express lanes, its usefulness is greatly diminished for us. I fully expect that as soon as V2.0 is released, we will stop seeing any updates on cars with the V1.0 hardware and we will be stuck in "beta" mode permanently.
     
  17. jerjozwik

    jerjozwik Member

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    i have no idea what your complaining about david. daily i use AP to drive my 25 mile commute to work. the car asks me twice to "hold the wheel" and flies down the transition from 65 mph to 55 mph at whatever speed i have TACC set to...
     
  18. davidc18

    davidc18 Member

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    With version 1.0 there were no nags and the autopilot behavior was very predictable. With the current updates, the nags were clearly added for legal reasons, not technical. The same goes for the speed restrictions. In my particular case, on the express lanes here in S. FL, the posted speed limit is 70mph. With the latest update, while on the express lanes (which are 3 lanes wide) the camera picks up speed signs from nearby onramps/offramps and now slows the car down. The most concerning is one area that the car slows rapidly to 45 mph while the rest of the traffic is doing 75+. The area in question is 595 between Weston and Ft. Lauderdale heading east. The problem with the legalizing of TACC/AutoPilot behavior is that the car absolutely does not know where it is, which causes problems with TACC if the car thinks it is on a ''restricted" road when it is not.

    If Tesla wants to be consistent with its 'safety' restrictions with autopilot and TACC then it should never allow you to exceed the speed limit at any time on any road.

    Just my opinion but I don't need to have my car crippled with a half baked legal solution to a perceived potential liability problem due to a few youtube videos.
     
  19. proven

    proven Member

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    I would report that section of the road to Tesla as a bug report. It's supposed to know that you are still on the highway and can go more than 5 over the speed limit.
     
  20. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    I disagree with your assessment of the nag's inconvenience factor. Yes it nags more frequently than in 7.0 but it still is pretty infrequent for me - touching the wheel a few times on a 40 minute highway drive is essentially hands off driving in my book.

    However - the bugs in speed limit signs and the unsafe slowing of your car are real problems, I agree. Mine hasn't done that anywhere in So Cal yet - but I'm sorry yours is. I'd definitely report that to Tesla and have them try to fix that behavior.
     

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