Tesla Reintroduces Automatic Emergency Braking (Hardware 2.0 Vehicles)

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Tesla has reintroduced automatic emergency braking to its lineup. That is to say, to its Autopilot Hardware 2.0 vehicles (Autopilot Hardware 1.0 vehicles still have it), following a long absence.

The Autopilot Hardware 2.0 vehicles began rolling off the company’s production lines back in October 2016, but the company has been somewhat slow to bring those vehicles up to par with Autopilot Hardware 1.0 vehicles, owing to a seemingly slow software development process for the new vehicles (considering the number of new sensors, this isn’t too surprising).

The news follows the important US-based consumer watchdog Consumer Reports lowering its ratings (in some regards) for the Tesla Model S sedan and Model X SUV because of the lack of automatic emergency braking.

The new automatic emergency braking for Hardware 2.0 vehicles, it should be noted, only provides coverage at speeds of up to 28 miles per hour — for now. This compares to the feature’s ability to work in Hardware 1.0 vehicles at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.

Engadget provides more: “Higher speeds will come in stages, Tesla says. It’s not clear just when you’ll see the 90-mile-per-hour braking that came with models released before October 2016.

”Consumer Reports plans to revisit its ratings once it believes the ‘vast majority’ of Tesla owners have the update, and should look at scorecards again when higher speed limits arrive. That’s no doubt what Tesla is hoping for — even a slight bump could help the Model S recover the top spot on CR’s charts. All the same, it’s hard to object too loudly when even a limited form of emergency braking could mean the difference between a nasty accident and arriving home safely.”

Still, there’s a world of difference between the prevention of a collision at 28 miles per hour and one at 90 miles per hour. I guess that even the Hardware 1.0 feature doesn’t necessarily work in some parts of the country, though — the ones where people regularly speed at 95 to 110 miles per hour on the highway … you know who you are.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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