Tesla Motors has announced that all vehicles produced in its factory – including Model 3 – will be equipped with the hardware needed for full self-driving capability “at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver”.
According to the company, Model S and Model X vehicles with this new hardware are already in production and are now available for purchase.
Tesla said all vehicles are being fitted with eight surround cameras that provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range.
This vision is complemented with twelve updated ultrasonic sensors, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system.
Additionally, a forward-facing radar with enhanced processing power provides data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.
This data is fed to a new onboard computer, which has more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation and runs the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software.
Tesla claims that 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.
“Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience. While this is occurring, Teslas 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,” the company said in a press release.
“As these features are robustly validated we will enable them over the air, together with a rapidly expanding set of entirely new features. As always, our over-the-air software updates will keep customers at the forefront of technology and continue to make every Tesla, including those equipped with first-generation Autopilot and earlier cars, more capable over time.”