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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on November 10th, 2019 | by Iqtidar Ali

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Tesla Autopilot & Smart Summon Handle Construction Zone & Traffic Cones Like A Boss

November 10th, 2019 by  


Originally posted on X Auto.

Elon Musk and the Tesla software team are aiming to roll out all of the features of its Full Self-Driving package by the year-end, a tough goal but one that should be achievable with a little margin here and there. The latest version of the Tesla firmware update (not yet available to every owner) shows that the cars can now detect traffic cones.

Tesla owner and hacker knowns as “green the only” recently took his Tesla Model 3 to a construction zone where both sides of the road had traffic cones set up. Interestingly, the car took the cones as guides for the route instead of the lane markings — this is crucial in handling a construction zone.

Green is able to show us how Autopilot detects objects by hacking into the Autopilot/FSD footage rather than the plain video footage that is recorded on the USB via cameras. These immensely technical videos show how the Tesla Supercomputer takes camera input for the car’s vision and neural net.

Just about a year ago Tesla upgraded the neural net vision that enables object detection with the 3D bounding boxes, which previously was 2D. This has certainly improved the performance of the Autopilot driver’s assistance package and is a major enabler towards the full self-driving goal.

This year’s biggest Autopilot feature release yet was Smart Summon, which enables the owner to call the car to the owner’s location from its parking spot. The feature has faced mixed emotions from mainstream media, but most Tesla owners rejoiced.

Some owners did reportedly damage their Teslas by using Smart Summon in an unrecommended manner but mostly the feature has been both fun and useful. According to Elon Musk’s statement from the Tesla Q3 2019 Earnings Call, Smart Summon has already been used more than 1 million times.

That means Tesla has started stacking huge amounts of useful data on how Tesla owners are using the feature and in which conditions. This data (from 8 cameras, 12 sensors, and the front radar) is monumental in improving the self-driving features.

One such Tesla owner took his ride to a bit messy parking lot which had construction work going on and traffic cones also in place. The following videos show how Smart Summon on a Tesla Model 3 handled the situation, pretty well indeed.

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About the Author

Iqtidar Ali writes for X Auto about Tesla and electric vehicles. A true car enthusiast since his childhood, he covers his stories with an utmost passion, which is now guided by the mission towards sustainability. With over 1 decade of website development experience, he’s also our IT resource at hand. He also writes about tech stuff at UXTechPlus.com occasionally. Iqtidar can easily be reached on Twitter @IqtidarAlii (DM open for tips, feedback or a friendly message) or via email: iqtidar@xautoworld.com.



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