If you have been following the news lately, Tesla needs no introduction. Tesla is an autonomous car system manufacturer that has recently made leaps and bounds of progress in the self-driving system that they work with. Tesla’s technology is not as advanced as that of self-driving cars in fiction quite yet.
However, the continuing game changing technology in the world of automotive autonomy might bring the cars in the near future closer than you might think.
How Does Tesla’s Autopilot Work
The way Tesla’s Autopilot works is a little bit complex but once you get the main idea behind the concept, it begins to make a lot of sense. Tesla is not 100% automated, yet. The way it works for the moment is that there is an Autonomous Mode, which you can activate while on the road. This is in stark contrast to Google’s approach, but both definitely have their merits.
In a Tesla, the driving experience begins as it would in any other car. The driver gets behind the wheel, turns the car on, and operates the controls and pedals. The driver can then switch to the Autonomous Mode, which lets the car take control of the driving. It is similar to the autopilot on an aeroplane where some user input is still necessary to make it work.
The Experience and Benefits
When driving a Tesla, it is very easy to let the car do the heavy lifting of your transit. Each car is fitted with a knob, which controls different aspects of the Autopilot system. Pulling the knob towards you once tells the car to take control of the pedal inputs and pulling the knob twice tells the car to steer.
The driver is still responsible for making sure that the proper information and parameters are set in order for the car to operate at its potential but once that is taken care of the car will read the surrounding roads, road signs, traffic, and cross traffic such as bikes and pedestrians, and drive you to where you want to go. The car does need user input from time to time, though, as the technology is still relatively new and the computer system can get a little confused by anomalies on the road. Overall, the system works great and drivers using it end up at their destinations much fresher than they otherwise would be.
By now, you are probably wondering how it all works. The Tesla Autopilot system consists of sensors situated all around the car that allow it to read and understand its environment. The radar system, which is found at the rear of the car, is another feature that provides environmental information. This radar can detect and monitor objects around the car at almost any speed.
Finally, there is a forward-facing camera, which helps the car “see” what is going on. The combination of all of these features leads to a car that is relatively self-aware and more comfortable to drive.