Tesla announced today that all Tesla vehicles produced in Tesla factories – including Model 3 – will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability which they claim is “at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.”
Eight surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.
To make sense of all of this data, a new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation runs the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software. Together, this system provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.
Model S and Model X vehicles with this new hardware are already in production, and customers can purchase one today
The software that would make Tesla vehicles fully self-driving still needs to be approved by regulators.
The new hardware at first will lack Tesla Autopilot while engineers work to calibrate the features.
Tesla has been criticized for calling its last system Autopilot when it was not truly autonomous.
“The foundation is on board to bring full autonomy,” Elon Musk told listeners to a teleconference.