New Teslas now fitted with hardware for 'level 5' autonomy

Every new production Tesla will feature hardware ready for full self-driving capability, cross-country trip planned for next year

Tesla Model S 60D 2016 - front tracking

Tesla's controversial 'Autopilot' self-driving system has taken another leap forward, as the brand has announced that every new production model will come fitted with the hardware for "full self-driving capability".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk linked to a new blog post, claiming that the new hardware is able to operate "at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver". The system includes eight 360-degree cameras mounted around the car able to monitor up to 250 metres.

Best electric cars to buy now

The California EV maker has released a video that shows a Model S driving itself through urban streets and then picking out its own parking spot:

12 upgraded ultrasonic sensors are able to detect "both hard and soft objects" at nearly twice the distance of the previous system fitted to the Model S, while enhanced processing on the forward facing camera makes it capable of maintaining visibility through heavy rain, thick fog and, Tesla claims, "even the car ahead".

A new onboard computer also features "more than 40 times the computing power" of the old system, providing a software 'net' that links vision, sonar and radar processing together. Examples of both the Model S and Model X fitted with this system are already leaving the production line, while the Model 3 will receive it at launch.

There is a catch, however: the system cannot operate fully yet as Tesla needs to "further calibrate the system using real-world driving". Teslas fitted with the new hardware will initially lack features such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking will the system learns the ropes - the features will be activated gradually via over-the-air updates.

What is Tesla AutoPilot? Find out here...

Recommended

Tesla Model S Plaid confirmed for 2021 market launch
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid confirmed for 2021 market launch

Tesla Model S Plaid is available to order now, with a maximum output of 1,100bhp and a top speed of 200mph
23 Sep 2020
Tesla Model S-based Coleman Milne BINZ.E hearse revealed
News

Tesla Model S-based Coleman Milne BINZ.E hearse revealed

All electric Tesla hearse emits zero tailpipe emissions, while Model S drivetrain promises the most ludicrous funerals ever
20 Aug 2020
Tesla Model S - Best electric cars
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S - Best electric cars

Tesla's Model S shows little signs of ageing with outstanding range and practicality
5 Aug 2020
Tesla Model S review
Tesla Model S - front
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S review

The all-electric Tesla Model S is an executive car for industry pioneers that want to make a statement
2 Jul 2020

Most Popular

'MG's sales must rank as the success story of the year, possibly the decade'
MG 2020
Opinion

'MG's sales must rank as the success story of the year, possibly the decade'

Mike Rutherford says plenty of big car brands could learn from MG's focus on cheap cars
17 Jan 2021
Hyundai i30 vs Volkswagen Golf
Hyundai i30 vs Volkswagen Golf - main
Car group tests

Hyundai i30 vs Volkswagen Golf

Can the updated Hyundai i30 provide tough competition for the latest Volkswagen Golf?
16 Jan 2021
Best electric cars to buy 2021
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2021

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
4 Jan 2021