The electric auto manufacturer Tesla took a commanding lead in the development of self-driving vehicles with the release of its latest vehicle. While not designed to go driver-less, the vehicles do use a host of new technology and GPS capabilities to allow for self-driving. It has proven to be one of the driving factors in sales and why an extended waiting list remains to purchase the vehicle. Recently, Tesla stated all future vehicles from the company will include hardware required for self-driving.
Capable But Not Fully-Self Driving
It is important to understand just because there is available technology within the vehicles it does not mean the Tesla vehicles are designed for self-driving purposes. In fact, in the released statement the company did indicate it will likely be several years until it is capable of providing complete self-driving services.
The Autopilot system built within the vehicle uses some auto breaking and self-driving functions but complete testing in all situations is not yet complete, which is why the included Autopilot feature comes temporarily disabled.
Disabled But A Key is Available
Tesla happens to hold the key available to unlock the self-driving feature. The system is heavily encrypted so computer wizards are not able to simply connect their computer to the vehicle and unlock the Autopilot system. Instead, Tesla will continue testing and research. Over this time, the company will make adjustments to the internal computer system until it is confident all Autopilot features are as safe as possible. Once this becomes a reality Tesla will unlock the Autopilot software within the vehicle through an installed patch.
Each Vehicle Is a Test Subject
All Tesla vehicles connect to the Internet. Driving habits, performance and most other information is recorded and sent to the company for analysis. This way, the company can look at driving habits and what may lead to accidents or other driving problems. From here, the company can make necessary adjustments to the internal software in order to correct for these issues. This way, when the Autopilot feature is updated, the Tesla vehicles will not only be safe for the driver of the vehicle but for other drivers on the road.
Sharing the Data
Elon Musk is not attempting to bogart other automakers from his Autopilot information. In fact, he plans to release the insights after testing is complete. So Tesla tests should help other companies produce self-driving vehicles.