Elon Musk, Tesla founder has announced that all Tesla vehicles produced in its factory including Model 3 will feature the hardware needed for full self-driving capability.
All the cars will come equipped with eight surround cameras that provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. In addition the cars will feature 12 updated ultrasonic sensors that will detect both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. The Tesla cars will also include a forward-facing radar with enhanced processing that will provide additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.
A new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation will run the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software. 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, says Tesla.
Tesla says it will calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience before activating the features enabled by new hardware. Cars with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. As these features are robustly validated, Tesla said it will enable them over the air with new features.
Model S and Model X vehicles with the new self-driving hardware are already in production, and customers can purchase one today.