Published on May 6th, 2019 | by Kyle Field0
Tesla Autopilot Handles Construction Zone Like A Boss
May 6th, 2019 by Kyle Field
Tesla makes such a big deal about its Autopilot and Full Self Driving solutions using an adaptive neural net bolstered by cameras and other sensors precisely because they are able to dynamically interpret the best route, even when it includes stopping in the middle of the street.
A YouTuber captured what is perhaps one of the best examples of being able to adapt to changing situations. Watch as a Tesla drives through a winding construction zone at night, dodging bicyclists along the way:
The Tesla handles the construction markers, fences, cement barriers and all-but-absent lane lines like a champ, at night, while avoiding a bicyclist going the wrong way (don’t be that guy!). Impressively, the system winds through the construction at a very reasonable rate of speed, without any abrupt starts or stops along the way.
Scenarios like this clearly aren’t the typical ones that Autopilot and Full Self Driving have to handle the majority of the time they’re on the road, but they do represent some of the edge cases that are the most critical for the system to be able to solve.
Tesla believes that its Autopilot and Full Self Driving software options for its vehicles have the potential to become one of its largest sources of income. Elon Musk believes that its Tesla Network and the Robotaxis running on it could catapult it from its current $44.4 billion market cap up to $500 billion.
Tesla Network’s Robotaxis can usher in a $500 billion market cap, says Elon Muskhttps://t.co/VP9N9QOBlt
— TESLARATI (@Teslarati) May 3, 2019
Much of that potential hinges on Tesla refining its current software in order to bring the promise of a fully autonomous Tesla to the masses. The next step along that journey is for Tesla to deliver a “feature complete” version of Full Self Driving to its vehicles by the end of 2019. This version will still require drivers to pay attention and be able to take over, if needed, with refinements through 2020 enabling a true “set it and forget it” hands-free Robotaxi by the end of 2020.
That is, if you believe … Musk.
Having watched Tesla’s progress over the years, I’m confident that the company will deliver on the promise of fully autonomous transportation, just not on Elon’s timing. He’s famous for expressing goals in his over-ambitious “Elon Time.” That seems to always squeeze more out of the company than anyone thought possible, but it can also leave a bit to be desired if you actually want the solutions delivered on time.
Editor’s note: I would note that some of Elon’s targets to arrive on time, more so if they’ve been years in development and you find the right point in time to record his forecast. As far as the Full Self Driving stuff goes, it seems to be well behind schedule according to forecasts from recent years, but I think we’re getting close enough to completion that the current forecasts will be seen as quite accurate. Also, I think this matches up with his forecasts from several years ago, which is how it often seems to work with Elon — super early forecasts are good, forecasts at the end are good, but forecasts in the middle are meh. Anyway, when it comes to Full Self Driving, only time will tell.
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