Tesla Motors is taking autopilot to the next level and claims its cars will be the safest on the road. Only a few days ago, Tesla announced a major upgrade to its Autopilot system that comes with features like automatic steering, lane changing and braking. The most notable improvement is the shift from the primary role of the camera for the Autopilot to the use of radar as a primary control sensor. This new starring role of the radar could have likely prevented the fatal crash that happened in a Tesla car earlier this year while the driver was using the automated driving technology, said Musk in a press release.
The radar was introduced to all Tesla cars two years ago as part of the Autopilot system and was only meant to be a supplementary system to the camera and image processing system. Now Tesla says the radar can be used as a primary control sensor without a confirmation from the camera of the visual image recognition.
The big problem when using the radar to activate the brakes is how to avoid false alarms. It is very important for the system to detect if the object in front of the car is something large and solid. Otherwise, having lots of braking events could be very annoying or even could cause injury.
Tesla claims Autopilot version 8.0 is able to recognize objects like trucks crossing the road or piles of junk metal. The system should even recognize a UFO landing on the freeway in zero visibility conditions.