Tesla D & autopilot hands-free driving coming down the road

teslsautopilotElon Musk and Tesla revealed the next generation “Tesla D” and the upcoming autopilot feature.

The Tesla D stands for all-wheel drive and dual motor, that are upgrades to the “S” line with deliveries in February.

The 85 kWh dual-motor and all-wheel drive Tesla goes from zero to 60mph in 3.2 seconds. All wheel drive is important for cold climates for better traction on snow and ice.

The Tesla Model S comes standard with radar, forward camera, and 360-degree ultrasonic sensors hardware. Future software updates will enable advanced safety features such as hands-free driving,  intelligent adaptive cruise control, self parking (private property)  and car summoning, over time. The autopilot reads the the speed limit on road signs and changes the speed of the vehicle accordingly.

Through software updates, eventually the Model S will have autopilot capability on the highway from on-ramp to off-ramp.

It may take some time for drivers to legally take their hands off the wheel. Laws currently are difficult to pilot for autopilot, especially in Germany where hands have to be on the steering wheel at all times.  In the state of California autonomous vehicles most allow the driver to take-over control of the vehicle with special insurance and accident reporting guidelines for autonomous vehicles.

Car summoning allows the driver to summon the car up the driveway to the front door.  Although Musk performed his usual razzle dazzle the stock market responded in a decline in the stock.

The autopilot through a over-the-air (OTA) software update is enabled through  3G+ HSPA+ data connections through cellular modems in Tesla vehicle. Since car buyers especially luxury car buyers may delay buying for advanced features, the promise of new ADAS autopilot features in the near future may bring more luxury car buyers over to Tesla.