Last week we reported that the latest over-the-air Tesla software update improves driving visualization to detect and render traffic cones. Then on Thursday we also shared a video of a Tesla navigating its way through traffic cones, courtesy of Tesla hacker @greentheonly. Now @greentheonly is reporting that the traffic cone feature is only being delivered to Tesla owners with the “Hardware 3” chip (HW3). This is significant, as it’s the first time that software features (in this case, Auto Lane Change and Navigate-on-Autopilot) will be forked for Tesla drivers depending on when their Tesla was built.
Autopilot Stories November 10
Autopilot Stories October 23
For more than a year now, Tesla has been releasing Autopilot safety numbers to show that autopilot is safer than a human driver in average driving conditions. In today’s Tesla Q3 update, the company updated those numbers to show that autopilot is nearly 9x times safer than average driving.
There are caveats, of course. Autopilot is primarily used on highways, which have fewer accidents than surface streets because driving conditions are much simpler. And Teslas are generally newer cars, which are also less likely to be involved in accidents than the overall vehicle fleet, which includes old cars without modern active and passive safety features.
Autopilot Stories July 8
Elon Musk: Tesla will stop selling cars [Update: at consumer pricing] once full self-driving is solved
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been talking a lot about Tesla Network lately, part of Tesla’s “Master Plan, Part Deux” which will enable Tesla cars with full self-driving hardware to operate as autonomous robotaxis to generate revenue for owners and for Tesla itself.
This is all still a ways off, but that hasn’t stopped Musk and others from theorizing about what might happen when the technological problems behind self-driving are solved. Recently, Musk stated that any Tesla bought today is an “appreciating asset” due to its potential to be used to generate revenue in the future. But an asset wouldn’t really appreciate unless a new, similar asset couldn’t be bought at the same price. So now, Musk has committed to making that happen, stating that once robotaxis become possible, Tesla will likely stop selling cars to consumers, at least at anywhere near the same price.
Autopilot Stories May 9
Tesla has been making bold claims about future autonomous driving plans lately, most recently holding an “autonomy investor event” where the company laid out plans for its future full self-driving technology. At that event, Tesla stated that they would be ready to roll out a fully autonomous robotaxi fleet as early as next year, depending on regulations.
Today, CEO Elon Musk pushed that timeline forward a bit, and stated that Tesla’s long-planned autonomous cross-country roadtrip would actually occur later this year. Tesla has made claims in the past about enabling cross-country Autopilot travel, but the news today is that not only will it be possible for Tesla to do this on their own to demonstrate their technology, but that any Tesla owner (*with FSD software) will be able to do the same.
Autopilot Stories March 4
Along with several other changes in the last few days, one thing Tesla has done is completely reworked how “Enhanced Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving” are differentiated. Features for both of the systems have been shifted around, and FSD, which for a few months wasn’t even available on the cars, is back and available for purchase.
But one of the changes is that Tesla is offering Model 3 owners who already bought the car, but who didn’t previously purchase Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-driving, a discount to purchase the software unlock for either of those systems.
The problem with this is that these systems were originally billed as increasing in price if ordered after delivery, rather than decreasing. Now, early buyers who took Tesla at their word, and paid full price for these systems, are being left out of the price drops, and will end up having paid more than people who buy it now.
Autopilot Stories October 4, 2018
Tesla has long complained that media coverage of crashes in Tesla vehicles is overblown. In response to this, the company announced that it would start reporting safety numbers each quarter, detailing the frequency of Tesla crashes, and today Tesla delivered their first report of this kind.
Autopilot Stories July 12, 2018
Autopilot Stories June 6, 2018
Cadillac announced today that its Super Cruise level 2/3 autonomous driving system will be expanding into its other vehicles and to the wider GM lineup of vehicles in 2020. Cadillac calls it the only truly “hands free” autonomous system though other makers might argue semantics.
Cadillac’s Super Cruise is a Tesla (or Mercedes Drive Pilot, Nissan Propilot, etc) Autopilot-like level 2 software that GM puts in its top end CT-6 only for now. GM gave us a demo CT-6 which we did a quick review of, below.
Autopilot Stories January 12, 2018
Google this week announced that it was putting Google Assistant on Android Auto which basically means that your Android phone is now a Google Home/Amazon Echo type of device in your car that you can talk to. This, as opposed to having to push the button on the steering wheel, is great for passengers who want to ruin my music vibe.
Unfortunately, my Chevy Bolt was on an older version of the firmware which apparently isn’t OTA upgradable and cut out Android Auto on my Google Pixel every few minutes. To properly test and use Google Assistant, I was going to need to get a firmware update. Off to the Chevy dealer, right?
Autopilot Stories December 28, 2017
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Oxford PV granted financing for perovskite serial production – Oxford PV received an EU bank financing of €15m, to support the transfer of its disruptive perovskite on silicon tandem solar cell technology from lab scale to commercialisation. Plus “The company has demonstrated the necessary parameters in efficiency and stability on its perovskite photovoltaic technology, to engage commercially with major industry players and play a key role in enhancing solar energy supply in the future.” Two items – 1. Perovskite is moving from a lab to a commercial facility. That’s pretty cool. 2. From the quote – ‘necessary parameters in efficiency and stability’ – most perovskite push back has been due to it quickly degrading in sunlight and water. If stability is meeting requirements – then perovskite is getting real.