Today Tesla made a major step, while technically speaking it’s a software release, we’ll look back on today ten years from now and say, “That’s when self-driving cars really became a thing.” Version 8 of the Tesla software introduces the most sophisticated technology that has ever been put into a car that’s currently on the road, period.
“The radar was added to all Tesla vehicles in October 2014 as part of the Autopilot hardware suite, but was only meant to be a supplementary sensor to the primary camera and image processing system.
After careful consideration, we now believe it can be used as a primary control sensor without requiring the camera to confirm visual image recognition. This is a non-trivial and counter-intuitive problem, because of how strange the world looks in radar.” (Source – Tesla Blog)
Earlier this year Tesla’s auto-pilot system came under fire after a driver died in a fatal crash on a freeway in Florida while the auto-pilot was active. Today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that this latest software release would have prevented an accident like this.
Musk said it was “very likely” the improved Autopilot would have prevented the death of Brown, whose car sped into the trailer of a truck crossing a highway, but he cautioned that the update “doesn’t mean perfect safety.” (Source – Reuters)
If anyone could innovate in a major way with something that your life depends on, Elon Musk would be my pick, and it sounds like this release does that. Congrats to the whole Tesla team, history is being made, and just like the first telephone, the first TV, and the first computer, the first autonomous car will have plenty of skepticism, but great entrepreneurs know how to rise to the challenge and continue to innovate against all odds.