Tesla vehicles come as standard vehicles with premium hardware that offers Autopilot features and self-driving capabilities via software updates made to enhance functionality over time.
The Autopilot enables vehicles to steer, accelerate, and automatically brake in their lane. Tesla autopilot features need active driver supervision as they don't make the car fully autonomous.
There's even much more you'll want to know about Tesla autopilot. Continue reading as we talk about Tesla's Autopilot methods of operation, advantages, and nuances.
How Tesla Autopilot Artificial Intelligence Works
Tesla has leveraged (Artificial Intelligence) AI and big data to grow its business. For AI, the company focuses on 2 major areas; AI integrated chips and Autopilot.
For AI-integrated chips, Tesla is committed to creating AI-integrated chips to enable vehicles navigate through traffic and freeways. And for Autopilot, Tesla designs it to enable vehicles steer, accelerate, and automatically brake in their lane.
How does Tesla Autopilot AI work? The firm uses AI to comprehend and anticipate cars, cyclists, and pedestrians' next movements. The data helps Tesla decide on their moves in a second and choose what to do always.
For instance, the Tesla car can decide to stay and change lanes, pass the vehicle in front, brake, or accelerate.
To make its vehicles fully autonomous, the company collects the correct data to train its algorithms and feed the AIs. It also crowdsources all its data from thousands of Tesla cars on the roads.
Meanwhile, the external and internal sensors track what Teslas do in all situations. They take data on driver altitude, how they act in diverse situations, and how often drivers touch their steering wheels or dashboards.
What Are The Types Of Autopilots?
There are 2 Autopilot packages for purchase, namely: Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability.
1. Enhanced Autopilot
The features of Enhanced Autopilot are:
- Auto Lane Change- This assists to move a car to an adjacent lane when the driver engages the indicator.
- Autopark- It helps to park cars perpendicular or parallel with just a single touch.
- Summon- This moves a car out and in from a tight space with a mobile app
- Smart Summon- It enables cars to navigate in more complex parking spaces and environments.
2. Full Self-Driving Capability
This package comes with all functionalities of Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot. It also aims to provide autosteer on town streets and Traffic and Stops Sign Control.
How Safe Is It To Use Autopilot?
According to the US Department of Transportation, Tesla Autopilot is mainly used in highway driving, and it's twice as safe as driving on town streets. There may be few crashes with Autopilot because they're used in safer situations.
What Problems Do Users of Autopilots Face
Breakdown and calibration of radar cause most of the crashes experienced with Tesla Autopilots.
Drivers report that their cars brake unexpectedly while the vehicle is still moving. The car often brakes repeatedly without any notice in a driving cycle.
This braking challenge is seen more in Tesla Model 3 and Model Y cars. In the last 9 months, over 350 braking issues complaints have been recorded with the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). And it seems to be connected with a sensor malfunction.
Some reported crashes also happen when drivers drive in areas where Autopilot has limitations or in conditions that interfere with Tesla driving or operations.
For this, Tesla advised against, "operation on roadways other than limited access highways, or operation in low traction or visibility environments such as rain, snow or ice.”
What Are The Inconveniences In Using The Autopilot
Tesla Autopilot is designed for drivers' assistance. However, this doesn't really turn Tesla into a fully self-driving vehicle.
Drivers need to keep their hands on the steering wheel. Not doing this could trigger warnings for the driver to hold the wheels, and when ignored, the vehicle slows down and finally turns off or stops.
Meanwhile, drivers can override autopilot features by applying brakes, steering, or applying cruise control stalk to deactivate.