January 23, 2022

Tesla hopes cars will drive themselves cross-country by 2018

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490602206By Jon Fingas From engadget

You could ask your EV to travel from coast to coast, if you’re willing to wait.

Tesla only just introduced the ability to summon your car from its parking spot, but it already has much, much larger ambitions. Company chief Elon Musk is predicting that the Model S’ just-introduced Summon feature will work anywhere within two years, or around 2018. As he puts it, you could ask your electric vehicle in New York City to meet you in Los Angeles — so long as you could afford to wait a couple of days, you wouldn’t have to budge. The company’s snake-like automatic chargers would keep the EV running on these lengthy journeys.

That’s a pretty ambitious claim (even from a CEO known for making bold predictions), and there’s a good chance that political realities will prevent Tesla from fulfilling its dreams so quickly. Only a handful of US states currently allow self-driving cars in any form, let alone vehicles whose owners aren’t in the same state. And of course, autonomous driving is that much more daunting when the machine has to travel across a whole country. Musk told those on a conference call that cars would need a “lot of redundancy” to make sure they don’t need human involvement in mid-trip. The groundwork should exist, however, and it might not take too much longer before your car can always catch up with you.

[Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

For more on this story go to: http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/10/tesla-summon-anywhere-by-2018/

 

Related story:

Tesla Model S’ new ‘Summon’ feature lets drivers park and retrieve their cars with no one inside

tesla-on-roadBy Yoni Heisler From BGR

Tesla earlier today began pushing out version 7.1 of its software to Model S and Model X owners and, suffice it to say, it’s a doozy of a software update.

While we’ll get to the full changelog shortly, we first wanted to highlight a feature called Summon which enables users to park their cars without having to be inside it. Conversely, it also lets Tesla owners summon their cars that already happen to be parked.

A video of this feature in action can be seen at link below. You might consider this akin to autostart, albeit on steroids.

The release notes for Summon, which is in Beta, indicates that the feature works up to a distance of 39 feet, meaning that a “Model S will move up to 39 feet or until the sensors detect an obstacle, at which point parking is considered complete and Autopark will shift the car to Park.”

Naturally, Tesla advises that the Summon feature should only be used on flat surfaces and on private property.

Other improvements found in the 7.1 software update include Autosteer improvements to help keep Tesla vehicles in their current lane when passing highway exits and even in situations when lane markings are faded.

One notable change to Tesla’s Autopilot software is that it’s more safety-oriented, which is to say that Autosteer is now “restricted on residential roads and roads without a center divider.” This change of course stems from Tesla Model S owners pushing their Autopilot software to the limit and uploading harrowing videos of their experiments to YouTube.

As a result, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the following during a November conference call: “There’s been some fairly crazy videos on YouTube… this is not good. And we will be putting some additional constraints on when autopilot can be activated to minimize the possibility of people doing crazy things with it.”

Furthermore, the software update now allows Tesla vehicles to park itself into parking spots “that are perpendicular to the curb.” Other enhancements include enhanced autopilot visualization so that the car’s instrument panel can digitally depict multiple vehicles around the front of the car, along with the ability to indicate the type of vehicle, whether it be a car, truck or motorcycle.

Other improvements include improved collision detection, automatic speed adjustments if you’re on cruise control and exiting a highway, the ability to have your garage door open and close automatically when you leave and after you arrive, more granular control over the unlocking system, auto-brightness enhancements, more detailed information about Supercharger availability, improved trip planning, and more.

The full release notes to the software update can be viewed here courtesy of Tesla Motors Club.

For more on this story go to: http://bgr.com/2016/01/09/tesla-model-s-software-update-7-1-summon/

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